This last month of the school year we reflect on the virtue of GENTLENESS. In years past, when our society was Christian at heart, GENTLENESS was valued. A respectable man, regardless of where he may have come from in life, would strive to be a GENTLEman. Today, however, we live in a society that does not celebrate GENTLENESS. Instead, it celebrates power, aggression, violence, and victory at all costs. In our society today, GENTLENESS is not considered to be a quality of strength. Some people think that if you are GENTLE, you will simply get run over by a busy, over-powering world.
The truth is, however, that GENTLENESS is far more than society understands. GENTLENESS is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, and when we were baptized, we received the Holy Spirit. Scripture tells us that “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” That’s right. GENTLENESS has its roots in the Holy Spirit, Who is a spirit of power. It’s easy to be arrogant, rough, inconsiderate, rude, boisterous, and obnoxious. These go directly against the virtue of GENTLENESS. However, it takes strength, the strength of the Holy Spirit, to be GENTLE.
Have we been GENTLE towards our spouse? Our children? Our co-workers? Our neighbors and friends? Complete strangers? Are the words we speak GENTLE? Are our actions GENTLE? Can we see how being GENTLE is not a sign of weakness but strength? Being GENTLE does not mean that we should be a push-over. Jesus was not a push-over. Remember how he flipped tables over and cracked a whip in the Temple when he was justifiably angry at how people were treating his Father’s house? We can still be GENTLE even when we are upset. I am positive that Jesus was GENTLE, even when he was justifiable upset that day. Have we been GENTLE in those kind of moments?
Lord God, please help us be GENTLE with those around us. Mother Mary, you also gave us a perfect example of GENTLENESS. Pray for us that we may imitate you and your Son. Help us remember the words of St. Paul: “Clothe yourself with kindness, compassion, humility, GENTLENESS, and patience” (Colossians 3:12)
God bless you and your families!
Coordinator of Religious Education