Wednesday, July 15, 2015

“It takes a very long time to become young.”

Grown-ups love figures. When you tell them that you have made a new friend, they never ask you any questions about essential matters. They never say to you, "What does his voice sound like? What games does he love best? Does he collect butterflies?" Instead, they demand: "How old is he? How many brothers has he? How much does he weigh? How much money does his father make?" Only from these figures do they think they have learned anything about him. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince, 1943

Gospel Text: (Matthew 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.”

Who finds God? The answer our scriptures give are those who are “childlike” or as some translations say “like babies” or “mere children”.

Jesus speaks out of his experience, the experience that the rabbis and the wise men rejected him, but the simple ordinary people of the land accepted him. In general the powerful and intellectuals had no use for him; but the poor and humble welcomed him. The most trusted of his disciples, Peter, James, and John were fishermen.

Yet it is not social class that matters, but the heart. Think of Nicodemus member of the Sanhedrin, the Roman centurion, Jairus the synagogue official, the well-to-do family of Martha, Mary and Lazarus, and Zacchaeus the chief tax-collector of Jericho. All of these had hearts that were open and ready to listen. What is the message we must hear? It is Jesus’ astonishing claim that only he can reveal the Father to us because he is the Son. If we want to see the mind of God, the heart of God, the nature of God, if we want to see God’s whole attitude toward us- Jesus says look at me!

And when we look we hear Jesus’ invitation: “..learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart…” Matthew 11:29.

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