Pope Francis extols virtue of meekness

Pope Francis said that being meek is not a sign of weakness, but allows a person to hold onto those charitable gifts from God that allow one to bring people together and save relationships.

“The meek are not people-pleasers but are Christ’s disciples who have learned to defend a whole other land. They defend their peace, they defend their relationship with God and God’s gifts, guarding mercy, fraternity, trust, and hope,” the pope said on Feb. 19 during his weekly general audience, Catholic News Service reports

“People who are meek are people who are merciful, fraternal, trusting and hopeful,” he added.

His words were delivered as a part of his series of talks on the beatitudes — the eight blessings recounted by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount in the Gospel of Matthew.

The pope’s most recent talk is focused on the third beatitude: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.”

Pope Francis focused on the seemingly “strange” relationship between meekness and inheriting the land, but added the concept was rooted in Psalm 37:3-11, which tells believers to “refrain from anger” and “turn from wrath, for “those who hope in the Lord will inherit the land.”

He added that “land” in this context is connected not just to an earthly realm, but something that is a source of conflict, war, and aggression.

“That land is a promise and a gift for the people of God,” the pope said, describing it as heaven — the “new earth” — that God has made for his children.

“Therefore, the meek are those who ‘inherit’ the most sublime of territories,” Pope Francis said. “They are not cowards, weak, looking for some fallback moral principle in order to steer clear of trouble. Far from it!”

The general audience, also known as the papal audience, is not a Mass, but rather provides an opportunity for the pope to deliver a themed speech, followed by prayer, homily and songs.

Pope Francis often communicates with the crowd in multiple languages during these addresses.

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