St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church

​​​​​​​​​PASTORAL MESSAGE


                                     Fourteenth Sunday Ordinary Time  2016

Today we have a great lesson on being meek.  That lesson comes from our readings today. Jesus speaks of an abundant harvest and the need for laborers.  This image comforts those who are chosen to be apostles.  But then Jesus  immediately adds another image, “Behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” (Lk. 10:3)  Today Saint Paul reminds us that his body is scarred from the treatment he received for preaching about Jesus. But he refers to his scars as the marks of Jesus, (See Gal. 6:17).  Such suffering comes from being meek. The combination of gentleness and strong faith allow the apostles to be calm in the midst of their persecutions.  Remaining calm while being rejected and being made to suffer defines meekness. The third Beatitude exhorts us to be meek: “Blessed are the meek for they will inherit the land.” (Mt. 5:5)  In our study of the third Beatitude we are at the point of Psalm 37 where we find the words of this Beatitude.  “But a little while and the wicked will be no more! And the meek will inherit the land and shall take delight in great peace.” (Psalm 37:10-11)  The  motivation for being meek is not the promise of inheriting the land.  The motivation for accepting the suffering part of all eight Beatitudes is the love of God.  In other words, being meek will not mean that God owes you an inheritance.  Rather being meek will enable you to be the sort of person capable of inheriting the land.  God keeps His promises. So, if we can accept from God the grace of being meek, then we can have sure hope of God giving us the land as an inheritance and giving us great peace.  Yet, todays readings for Mass remind us that wicked persons not only prosper from their wickedness, but they also oppress the righteous. From the point of view of the wicked, meekness is a weakness in character that is to be exploited.  Wicked people believe that meekness is simply an opportunity to take advantage of a person. Wickedness, therefore, takes aim at people who are meek.  Remaining meek under such circumstances can be extremely difficult.  We must keep our eyes fixed on our crucified Lord.  His crucifixion resulted in glory. His crucifixion was his glory!  Listen to Psalm 37 as we continue with verse 12: “The wicked plot against the righteous. The wicked gnash their teeth against the righteous.” (v13) The Beatitudes require a great deal of patience.  But God responds: “The Lord laughs at the wicked; for He has seen that their time has come.”  A few verses further we read, “The little the righteous have is better than the abundant wealth of the wicked people.” (v16).  “The Lord is watching over the righteous.” (v17)