Wednesday, July 18, 2018

“Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life.”

A pure heart is perhaps one which has no natural propulsion towards anything in any manner whatsoever. When in its extreme simplicity such a heart has become like a writing-tablet beautifully smoothed and polished, God comes to dwell in it and writes there His own laws. - Maximus the Confessor: (580 – 662: was a Christian monk, theologian, and scholar)

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.”

This is not the first time Jesus uses the children as a point of reference. In Lk. 18: 17 we read: anyone who does not welcome the reign of God like a child will never enter it. It is clearly not a matter of being childish, but of being childlike. What is so special about children that makes this revealed to them and not to the learned?

Children have an openness to trust and a keen way of grasping what we say and, more importantly, of grasping what we are. Children know their parents, know their friends, more than they know about them. They do not study their parents or friends, they are keenly perceptive about what the lives of their parents or friends convey to them.

In Jn. 17: 13 Jesus tells us: eternal life consists in this, to know you, Father, and to know the one you sent. To know you is different from knowing about you. The disciples first response to Jesus’ question who do people say that the Son of Man is? [Mt. 16: 13] reveals what they knew about Jesus. Knowing about another is an intellectual process, while knowing another is more of an existential process. It is the way we know our parents and friends without studying them, but by living with them and interacting with them.

Pascal wrote that the heart has reasons reason knows not of. We know others through heart reasons and this is how Jesus challenges us to know him in a childlike way. Christology helps us to know about Jesus. Christianity helps us to know Jesus. Christology is for the experts. Christianity is for all, perhaps especially for those with childlike receptivity.

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