“Their recompense is with the Lord”

(Wisdom 5.15)

Given the moralizing environment that surrounds us in Church,
this may be difficult to grasp, but I shall try!
In our journey towards God
there are two roads that open up.
One is the road to consistency, the other the road to compassion.

First road of those who are coherent, unswerving…
They are those who try and struggle and work hard
and perhaps make it somehow to live a good life.
They manage to be altruistic, generous, pure, unruffled…
There is only one setback here
- and it is quite serious in Christianity.
Those who succeed, tend to feel superior to those who do not,
they yield easily to accuse and judge those who are weaker.
Their line of reasoning is
- if we managed to be good, why can’t they?
- perchance they did not try enough?

A good number of Christians take this road of coherence…
It looks attractive
- it builds up our pride,
- it nourishes our ego.
One BIG caveat however.
In their heart, those who take this road kill the weak brother.
It has killed Jesus Christ!

The other road is more humble and unassuming.
It is the road of those (like me) who do try hard but never manage to succeed
Every day they have to eat the bitter bread of their sin,
almost despite themselves.
They are not able to overcome temptation.
Hardly ever, anyway.

But instead of getting disheartened,
they look up and there they see Jesus interceding for them in Heaven,
they look within themselves and they see Jesus living in them,
they look back and there they see Jesus dying for them,
they look in front and they see Jesus coming towards them.
And so they taste the joy reserved for the little ones.
The joy of the little ones of the Gospel.

Their beatitudes run something like this…

Happy are those who laugh at themselves
because they will laugh all their lives;
Happy are those who can make a difference between a mountain and a heap of stones
because they are freed from useless worry;
Happy are those who know how to relax without many excuses
because they become wise;
Happy are those who know how to shut their mouth and listen
because they learn many new things;
Happy are those whose mind is well enough
not to take themselves too seriously,
because others will start loving them.

Happy are those who think before they do something
and pray before they think,
because they avoid a lot of trouble.

Happy are we if we learn to look seriously at the small things
and calmly at the big things,
because we advance a great deal in life.

Happy are we if we learn to appreciate a smile
and forget an ugly face,
because our road will brighter.

Happy are we if we learn to keep silent and smile
when others trample on us and contradict us just for nothing,
because the Gospel will start entering our heart.

Happy are we if we learn to think well of others
even when everything seems to indicate the contrary.
It’s true, they will call us idiots,
but charity is bought at such a price.

Happy are we when we recognize our Lord Jesus in all those
we meet, even in the poor, the unpleasant,
the enemy, the arrogant…
because then
we will have truly found the wisdom of God himself.

Yes, this is the joy of the little ones of the Gospel.
Lord, give me this joy…

The words of Shimei’s curse [to King David] were these,
‘Off with you, off with you,
man of blood!
Yahweh has paid you back for all the split blood
of the House of Saul, whose sovereignty you have usurped,
and Yahweh has transferred the sovereign power to Absalom your son…’
Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king:
‘Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king?
Let me go over and cut his head off.’
But the king replied,
‘What concern is my business to you, sons of Zeruiah?
Let him curse!
If Yahweh has said to him,
‘Curse David!’
what right has anyone to say
‘Why have you done so?
Let him curse on, if Yahweh has told him to!
Perhaps Yahweh
will look on my wretchedness
and will repay me with good for his curses today
(2 Samuel 16, 7-12)

(c) Fr. Pius Sammut, OCD. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, provided that the content is unaltered from its original state, if this copyright notice is included.