Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A man who was completely innocent, offered himself as a sacrifice for the good of others, including his enemies, and became the ransom of the world……..It was a perfect act.

“The most sophisticated people I know - inside they are all children.” ― Jim Henson: (1936 – 1990: was an American puppeteer, animator, cartoonist, actor, inventor, filmmaker, and screenwriter)

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."

How do we become like children?  What is the definition of being childlike?  Here are a few synonyms that most likely apply to Jesus’ definition of becoming like children:  trusting, dependent, natural, spontaneous, awe-inspired, without airs, and innocent.  Perhaps some of these, or all of them, would qualify for what Jesus is talking about.  Let’s look at a few of these qualities in regard to our relationship with God and others.

Trusting: Children trust their parents without question.  They may not always want to obey, but there is very little reason for children to lack trust that a parent will provide and care for them.  Food and clothing are presumed and not even considered as a concern.  If they are in a large city, or shopping mall, there is safety found in being close to a parent.  This trust helps eliminate fear and worry.

Natural: Children are often free to be who they are.  They are not overly concerned about looking silly or being embarrassed.  They will often naturally and spontaneously be who they are and not worry about the opinions of others.

Innocent: Children are not yet skewed or cynical.  They do not look at others and presume the worst.  Rather, they will often see others as good.

Awe-inspired:  Children are often fascinated by new things.  They see a lake, or mountain, or a new toy and are amazed at this first encounter. 

All of these qualities can easily be applied to our relationship with God.  We must trust God to care for us in all things.  We must strive to be natural and free, expressing our love without fear, not worrying if it will be accepted or rejected.  We must strive to be innocent in the way we see others not giving into prejudice and bias.  We must strive to be continually in awe of God and of all the new things He does in our lives.  

Reflect, today, upon any of these qualities in which you find yourself most lacking.  How does God want you to become more childlike?  How does He want you to become like children so that you can become truly great in the Kingdom of Heaven?

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