Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Children have neither past nor future; they enjoy the present

“Life is not complex. We are complex. Life is simple, and the simple thing is the right thing.”

(Gospel Text: Mt 11:25-27)
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
"I give praise to you, 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 the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him."

Have you ever played peek-a-boo with a baby? They can barely talk, but they rock with laughter when they see your face. It’s so fascinating to them that they can play this game long after we adults get bored with it. As children get older, they move on to games like hide-and-seek, but it’s really the same game. Even if they hide in the most obvious places, it’s a huge success when the one who is “It” finds everyone. Children just love to discover and explore.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us that if we want to find him, we need to be like children. That doesn’t mean that he considers things like maturity and education to be bad. And neither does it mean that we should treat the spiritual life like a game of hide-and-seek. But it does show us how deeply Jesus treasures the curiosity and joy of discovery that most children have.
Notice, for example, the fact that Jesus makes this prayer immediately after he laments the lack of openness he experienced from the people of Capernaum, Chorazin, and Bethsaida (yesterdays gospel at Mass). They had seen so many miracles, but they just could not see the wonder and promise that they held.

So what does this mean for us?

First and foremost, it means approaching each day with a sense of anticipation: What will God show me today? How will he surprise me? What insight will he give me about his love or about my walk with him? It also means committing your day to the Lord every morning and telling him that you want to find him there, in whatever way he wants to reveal himself.

Jesus wants our walk with him to be full of new discoveries. He doesn’t want us to be content with what we experienced yesterday or what we learned last year. Instead, he is inviting us on an ongoing journey. Today, ask him to give you a child’s heart, one full of curiosity and eager to know what lies around the next corner in your relationship with him.

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