At that very moment he rejoiced [in] the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (Luke 10:21-24)
How sweet! How Joyful! How Tender!
In today’s Gospel passage we read of the joy of Jesus as He thanks His father in heaven for revealing to his disciples the wisdom and knowledge of God. In His prayer, we also learn how we can both know and experience God in our daily life.
It all begins with building blocks.
Did you ever watch a small boy play with blocks? He sees endless possibilities as the blocks are arranged and built into whatever his mind conceives. He plays with an endless determination and a quiet joy. During these moments there are no filters on his imagination. No one is telling him what to build. No one is even reminding him of what can and cannot be used. His mind is innocent and unfiltered. He plays with a quiet joy. He sees without pretense.
Why was Jesus so joyful because the Father “had hidden these things from the wise and the learned (and) revealed them to the childlike.” It was the simple people and the children who were able to see the kingdom of God among them. They are the ones Jesus felt close to. They see purely without pretense and acknowledge their dependence and trust in the one who is greater, wiser, and more trustworthy.
That simplicity of heart is coupled with humility because humility turns the heart towards grace and truth. Just as pride is the root or every sin and evil, so humility is the only soil in which the grace of God can take root. It allows God to do all. A humble, meek heart opens itself to the need for prayer and opens itself to knowing God.
We need to imitate the resourceful little child who falls on the ground and then runs to his mother to be scooped up in a loving embrace. If we can remember our littleness on one hand and God’s pure, loving benevolence on the other, we’ll permit—even delight in—his wiping away from our faces the blood and tears caused by our sins. Only when we surrender ourselves into God’s forgiving, tender hands can we say that we know him.
A strong, independent, all resourceful attitude may feed the American ideal but it’s the small, dependent, open and trusting spirit that leads us to knowing God and receiving His love.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord Jesus, give me the child-like simplicity and purity of faith to gaze upon your face with joy and confidence in your all-merciful love. Remove every doubt, fear, and proud thought which would hinder me from receiving your word with trust and humble submission.”
Children have a deeper sense of wonder, openness and trust. When the Father reveals Himself to children, I think He is saying that the truth, the Good News and mission is simple, uncomplicated and accessible to all of us.
Further, children are able to take in information and process it without changing its meaning, or checking their reaction to it. It seems the younger we are, the more comfortable we are being our natural selves. As we mature, we put up mental walls to protect ourselves. We change our behavior to please others in the hope that it saves us from strife.
If we could all try to be as natural as a child more often, perhaps we could clear the barriers and receive more of God’s grace.