“As long as you are proud you cannot know God. A proud man is always looking down on thing and people: and, of course, as long as you are looking down you cannot see something that is above you.” ― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Gospel Text: (MT 18:1-5, 10, 12-14)
The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
Whoever becomes humble like this child
is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”
Humble people understand that everyone from the President of the United States to the poorest of the poor are in God’s hands and we must seek his protection as we sought that of our mom when we were toddlers. Humble people understand that even when they are the fortunate recipients of great gifts that they are not in control of their lives and destinies. They credit God as the source of their achievements and try to give back to his people.
Too often Americans tend to forget the source of their blessings. In our individualistic tradition, some people brag that they are self-made – that they achieved success entirely on their own, that they owe nothing to others. Really?
Did God not create them? Did they not have parents who sacrificed to raise them? What about teachers who guided them and a community that supported them?
When Jesus commands us to be humble, he is asking us to recognize our reliance on God and our interdependence with other people.