St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church
Fifteenth Sunday Ordinary Time 2016
Last week we ended with a very important development in our study of meekness. This important development came in verses 16 and 17 of Psalm 37: “The little the righteous have is better than the abundant wealth of the wicked people.” (v16). “The Lord is watching over the righteous.” (v17) What is the important development that has further increased our understanding of meekness? So far we have discovered that meekness is a strength, not a weakness. Today we add to this picture that meekness is not a synonym for innocence and simplicity. Most innocent people are meek. But being meek does not mean that a person is innocent of sin. Psalm 37 adds, “Surely those whom the Lord blesses shall inherit the land….A man’s steps are established by the Lord and he takes pleasure in his way. If he falls, he will not fall flat on his face; for the Lord is holding his hand.” (Ps 37: 22-24) The grace of God reveals itself as the strength of the meek! Listen to Saint Paul and see how grace is our strength. “And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from being too elated.” (2 Cor. 12:7) Twice Saint Paul mentions the need to be protected from being too elated. Maybe he felt himself to be a privileged person? The thorn in the flesh may in fact be, for Saint Paul, a sin in the flesh. A sinful weakness in the flesh can be a strong check against pride in another area of life. But how do we correct the sin? Listen further to Saint Paul: “Three times I begged the Lord about this [thorn in the flesh], that this thorn in the flesh should leave me; but the Lord said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ I [Saint Paul] will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses that power of Christ may rest upon me….for when I am weak then I am strong.” (2 Cor. 12:8-10) The grace of Christ or the power of Christ conquers our sin. But this grace that conquers our sin will rest upon us only we are ashamed of our sin. But our shame and simplicity are not the strength that takes away our sin. The Book of Revelations tells of the same wisdom of God: “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come; for the accuser of our brethren…accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” (Rev 12:10-11) Once again we see that the strength of the blood of Christ corrects our sinfulness. Nonetheless, our sinfulness can prevent us from being too elated. More next week!