Tuesday, August 14, 2018

“The most sophisticated people I know - inside they are all children.”

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 – 13 August 662: was a Christian monk, theologian, and scholar.)

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.”

But how can I be childlike?

Faith makes it possible for me to be childlike. I can live in the present because my faith assures me that I have the mercy of God for the past and the providence of God for the future. I can have a sense of wonder because faith ushers us into a wonderful world that is more mysterious and more romantic than the world of the senses. I can have a sense of security which is based on the unconditional love of God because my faith tells me that God loves me unconditionally with a love I cannot earn or ever be worthy of. And God loves me for myself, not as I could be or should be but as I really am with all of the physical warts, psychological quirks and spiritual infidelities.

To be childlike, to be among the greatest in the kingdom, is to live in the present, to have a sense of awe and wonder and to have our security rooted firmly in the fidelity of the love of God.

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