The first reading today pictures a king coming humbly to Zion, riding on a donkey, he is a messenger of peace. This prophesy was fulfilled on Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem, unarmed and defenceless. He carried no weapons but could change the hearts of people like Mary Magdalene & Zacchaeus. A dictator may make people tremble before them, but they will not change a person’s heart. Jesus says “Learn of me for I am gentle and humble of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”

Humility and gentleness do not seem to make much sense in the world today; there is a belief that if you want to get on in the world today, you must be tough, because if you are gentle, people will walk all over you.  Gentleness tends to be equated with timidity, passiveness and weakness; but it is anything but, it is a form of strength. It take a strong self confident person to be gentle. A gentle person knows that healing and growth result from nurturing, not forcing.

The lust for power is rooted in weakness rather than strength. Only the weak measure their worth by the number of people they can dominate. They puff themselves up, try to act strong. There was no harshness in Jesus, his approach was gentle; respecting people’s freedom, he didn’t try to control them or impose on them. The people with  greatest  influence over others have no need to control those they influence

In today’s world, humility is seen as a weakness, you must project yourself if you want to go places. But humility is also a strength, it’s the foundation on which to build the house of spirit. Humility does not  involve self deprecation, it is the grateful recognition of our goodness and acknowledging that this goodness is a gift from God.

To the gentle and the humble, Jesus promises peace of soul. Proud and arrogant people  do not bring peace,  they spread confusion and unrest by projecting onto others their own anger & frustration. Humble people disarm others and being out the best in them.

St Seraphim says, “Acquire inner peace and a multitude of people will find salvation near you.”