With the 10:15 Mass this weekend we kick off Catholic Schools week. Please stop by our school, Wauwatosa Catholic, between and 11 and 1 pm to see the wonderful things that are happening in this Catholic, International Baccalaureate school.
The Invitation will come out at the beginning of this week and I cover many practical details in there (coming events, Pastoral Council update, etc.), so I will go right to the reflection on the scriptures: In over 40 years of preaching, I haven’t found another set of Sunday readings so consistent in presenting a theme: blessed are the meek.
Three times our first reading uses a variant of the word “humble,” emphasizing seek the Lord, all you humble of the earth. In our second reading we hear God chose the foolish of the world … the weak of the world…the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing… Finally, in our Gospel Jesus presents a blueprint for those who want to build up His Kingdom: the Beatitudes, including blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the land. Meekness. Being meek. Being humble. Certainly not something that is valued in our culture of rugged individualism! But the essence of those who enter the Kingdom of Heaven is the ability to think of others, to be merciful, to be poor in spirit…all of which involve being meek
Our culture tells us we are weak if we are meek or humble: it should be ME FIRST! Look at the way we drive! But, actually, if you reflect on it, it is much more challenging and “strong” to think of the other person, in addition to oneself. It is going against our instincts, it is going against our culture, but it is what we are called to do.
REFLECTION: how am I at controlling pride and the natural urge to be first? Am I able to think of others and use some of my time and resources for them, especially those in need? How can I grow? How can we support each other in our community as we strive to grow in humility?
This weekend I am in Racine at the intercommunity workshop for candidates to religious life and their formators. Please remember us in your prayers. Thank you.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS