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Mighty Mouse in action in the 1984 Roy of the ...

Image via Wikipedia

Jesus said:

Tubwayhun l’mskikhr d’hinnon nertun arha.

Wake up, you who have softened what is rigid within; 

you shall be open to receive the splendor of the earth’s fruits.

(KJV version: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.)

This one, in traditional expression, has been one of the most misunderstood of the Beatitudes. It has evoked caricatures of the quintessential wimp, habitually unable to say “boo!” to a goose, somehow becoming a mouse that roars loud enough to acquire all that others strive for.

Rather, and the translation from Aramaic renders it such, the Greek word “praus” bespeaks a calm spirit that remains un-agitated when the uncertain instabilities of life descend upon us. It speaks of a certain perspective that has acquired inbuilt shock-absorbers creating the malleability of disposition that can withstand the blows and ride out the storm.

One then “inherits the earth” without possessing it. An open and undemanding face towards the cosmos (aka all that is) is a stance of receptivity, something that indigenous spirituality has taught us well.

It is counter-cultural however, and the basic premise of this beatitude, whether translated from its Greek or Aramaic text, is a direct challenge to any way of life that is built on a grasp for power and acquisition. Its subversiveness invites scorn and derision, for there is no other defense available to those who would manipulate people and chattels to their own ends.

Indeed, in this Lenten season, it enhances and expresses the “servant-leader” style modeled by Jesus for his followers.

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