13 The Meek shall Inherit the Earth - Fr Austin Norris

posted Dec 11, 2018, 8:27 AM by Neil D'Souza   [ updated Dec 11, 2018, 8:27 AM ]
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). This promise to the meek is but a repetition of Psalm 37:11; only the word which our Evangelist renders — ‘the meek’ — is the same which we have found so often translated as ‘the poor,’ showing how closely allied these two features are!

When one gazes on the familiar Christmas crib, in our homes and in churches, we see the statues of people and animals… and each one looks “meek and in awe” of what they are comprehending—the Babe of Bethlehem! None of the figurines has a haughty look about them, but they are generally bowed low in posture and stance, and so are the lowly animals. It should tell us something—right?

When you visit the Holy Land, and in particular, the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, yes, you must bend low. You can see three entrances. The large square opening is the original; large enough for camels to enter, which they did. The Crusaders thought animals should not be in the courtyard of the church, and built the smaller arched entrance. Later, a smaller entrance was built that requires one to bow low for increased defensibility. We also heard that it forces people to enter in reverence and walk through the door of humility, small enough to force everyone to dismount from their horses upon entry, and down the steps to the grotto, where, we believe, Mary gave birth to Jesus Christ. Bow low, and why not? We are indeed bowing to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Everything about Christmas is stamped with humility and meekness. The humble maiden of Nazareth – Mary, the gentle and meek foster father – Joseph, the humble abode of birth – the manger, the lowly pasturing men, considered impure and bottom of the rung – the shepherds, the meek and non-threatening animals – the ox and the lamb, the three kings, their tired and crown-clad heads bowed in obeisance, each one heralding in their own meek and unique way, the majestic Birth of the Messiah.