Monday of the Eleventh Week in Ordinary Time
The strength of the meekness
“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. Mt 5,38-42
Some years ago, during an interview, a journalist asked Mr. Giulio Andreotti: “You, who every morning, before going to to the parliament, go to pray in church, tell me, if one strikes to you the right cheek, would you also give him the other cheek?”. “Certainly” said Andreotti. “And what about if he strikes also the left cheek? “. “I do not know what to do: I have two only cheeks”. This answer, beyond the humorous vein which would have been the envy of an english man of the nineteenth century, helps us to understand how difficult and unnatural is to be meek, especially if you have the energy to react. It is easy to be meek for a sheep, but what about for a lion? The gentleness, in a spiritual path, is one of the most difficult goals to be achieved. Perhaps it is even more difficult than the poverty, the obedience and the purity. However, no matter how difficult is, this is the way to go, because were the meekness and the humility, not the power, which allowed to Jesus Christ to save the world on the cross. “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart ” (Mt 11,29), Jesus once said to the apostles: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land” (Mt 5,5) cites one of the beatitudes, which Jesus listed in the sermon of the mountain. There is, in fact, an incredible hidden strength in the gentleness, which allows to get results and to achieve goals which cannot be reached through the violence. The history teaches us that the true revolutions, those which provide long-lasting results, have been always peaceful. Just think of the movement led by Martin Luther King, which resulted in the full inclusion of the people of African descent into the social and political life in the United States of America; or the non-violent revolution led by Mahatma Gandhi, which has enabled India to free itself from the British colonialism. These have been peaceful revolutions which results will last for ever, not as the october revolution which, being made by the weapons, miserably ended after seventy years. To be meek does not signify to bear the injustice and to suffer the arrogance of the bullies: it means to firmly fight the right battles but without attitudes of hatred and violence, even in our own heart.