Daily Reflection – 8/11/2020
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.( Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14)
I have always enjoyed this Gospel because its wisdom brings a smile to my face.
The disciples ask Jesus for a criterion so they can measure the importance of the persons in the community: “Who is the greater in the Kingdom of Heaven?” Jesus answers that the criterion are the little ones!
Children in the ancient world had no rights, position, or privileges of their own. They were socially at the “bottom of the rung” and at the service of their parents, much like the household staff and domestic servants. What is the significance of Jesus’ gesture? Jesus elevated a little child in the presence of his disciples by placing the child in a privileged position of honor at his right side. Why ?
Reflect for a moment on all the children in your life. A childlike heart is a Christlike heart. A heart that is innocent, without deceit, forgives easily and exhibits simplicity and credulity. A heart that finds it easy to trust, that embraces its weakness; one that is not worried about the future and totally depends on parents for all needs. Children simply live in the present moment and accept things as they are. This is an especially beautiful thing they do with people too. Children accept certain kinds of people that society rejects sometimes, (the homeless, mentally ill, alcoholics, drug addicts, etc.). Children see the inner beauty of a person, instead of noticing the flaws and shortcomings that most adults notice first in a person.
The simple of heart know that they belong to God – he is their father, teacher, and provider – the one who shows them the way of peace, joy, and life everlasting. They are content to recognize their total dependence on God who is the source of all goodness and every good gift.
Would it not be of great happiness to relate with a childlike heart in our relationship with God and people around us? To relate with the heart of a child it is of great importance that we possess certain qualities, one of those qualities include humility which was not exhibited by the apostles in the gospel of Matthew (18:1-5).
We become humble by focusing on His greatness, not our smallness. The best way to become sensitive to his grace is to spend time with Him: to give thanks to him for what he has done for us, and to learn of his ways. The more we sit at His feet, in fact, the more prepared we’ll be for heaven—because that’s exactly what we’ll be doing for all eternity!
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, teach me your way of humility and simplicity of heart that I may find perfect joy in you. May your light shine through me that others may see your truth and love and find hope and peace in you.”
We can easily fall into the same trap the apostles did if we put serving the Lord ahead of relating to him. He wants us to put him first in our lives, but we can’t do that by running ourselves ragged. His first concern is that we come to know him, and that we are filled with his life-giving Spirit. That’s what will make us vessels of his mercy, doing his will and not worrying so much about the seating arrangement in heaven!