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Blog Post #4: Meekness is NOT Weakness

Laugher | Missionary Priest | Meekness | Vocations | Blessings

Wednesday, September 4, 2019 by Carol Kurivial  

I love to laugh. Who doesn’t? So I was pleasantly surprised and delighted that a visiting missionary priest from Zambia had me cracking up in the pews this past Sunday. I was attending Mass at St. Paul’s Chapel in Clear Lake, Indiana, and since it was a short sleep night I needed extra help on the focus front.

I got it via Fr. Andy...particularly as he began his homily. He told us straight out that it’s a difficult life for a believer, in part because we live in a world where it’s all about who is stronger. We don’t necessarily say it out loud, but we’re naturally in the mode of thinking, “I am big and you are small.” Watch and listen to people for a bit and you’ll see that Fr. Andy is a good observer of human nature.

Human nature also requires that we get to the point, which he did by jumping right into the humility theme of the day. He explained that Jesus is different than the average Joe or Joanna because Jesus comes in meekness. He made a special point of telling us that meekness is not weakness. He definitely wanted us to remember that point. I know this because he repeated the phrase at least five or six times, and even went on to elaborate, explaining that Jesus came to save, and saving others is greatness. So conduct your own affairs in meekness, just like Jesus, and you will become great too.

One of my favorite moments was when he shared that sometimes we seek the approval of others and we forget the approval of God. So. Spot. On. I often find myself looking at the world and wondering, does anyone care about what God thinks?

Thankfully, there are still so many people who DO care what God thinks. Fr. Andy shared with us the amazing news that vocations are on the rise in Zambia (Praise God!). And he asked us to continue our prayers on this front.

Fr. Andy had us laughing pretty regularly. In fact, he had me laughing so hard a time or two, I think I might have even snorted. One moment in particular that had everyone giggling was when he was talking about American drivers and how, over the weekend, he was given a car and a GPS and was left to drive himself from point A to point B by way of Chicago. Yikes! It was nerve racking and he was praying Hail Mary after Hail Mary, but he was not afraid because he knew he was not alone. He had a GPS and he loves that woman! (At least he loves her voice.) That really got a chuckle from the crowd! Of course he went on to assure us that we are not alone either because we have Jesus.

He closed out by coming back to the meekness theme, sharing that meekness will help us to forgive, it will help us to clean up our past, and that it is something to be embraced. After all, if Jesus conducted Himself in meekness, it’s something the rest of us should try to emulate.

Not only was the homily inspiring, but He sang to us twice and both times it was in the form of a blessing of sorts. The first blessing came at the end of the homily, and the second came at the conclusion of the Mass. He sang both in his native tongue and the latter had a familiar melody. He never did transcribe the first, but the second one ended up being, “In Heaven there is no beer, that’s why we drink it here...” That also got a roar from the crowd.

The best part was seeing so many people truly listening and engaged. The Mass lasted a solid 80 minutes and I overheard one parishioner telling Fr. Andy as she left the church that she felt his homily was written specifically for her. She also asked for prayers for her son. Fr. Andy assured her he would and even gave her a special blessing, again via song. Since I overheard, I’m going to start praying for her son too, and would welcome anyone reading this blog to do the same. God will know where to direct those prayers.

I’d say it was a great display of community and a wonderful day at Clear Lake Chapel. I’m still basking in the energy of his message and musicality. I’m thinking I might even sing myself to sleep tonight in honor of Fr. Andy!

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