August 13, 2019 (Tuesday of week 19 Year I)
Become like children
Dear friends in Christ, a little child is the greatest mystery I have seen. Watching the human growth from the period of conception and seeing the foetus miraculously develop into a full human being is indeed a big miracle. Even at birth, the human person is still an unfinished product and continues to grow until death. Old age does not stop growth, it is only a part of the process of that growth. Every stage of this journey of life teaches its own lessons for those who are willing to reflect and learn.
Our first reading today (Deuteronomy 31:1-8) is a farewell address of Moses to his beloved people. After all he had suffered to see them to this point of the journey, he realised that he could no longer lead them and it was time to hand over to his successor. He then assured the people that the Lord will go with them and conquer their enemies. He told the people, “Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail or forsake you.” These are very powerful words born of faith in a God who does not fail. These same words apply to you as you listen. The Lord is with you and goes with you, be not afraid of any situation ahead of you.
The gospel passage of today (Matthew 18:1-5.10.12-14) tells us that the disciples came to Jesus to ask, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” One would have expected Jesus to answer that by mentioning: priests, Pharisees, scribes, religious leaders etc. Instead, he called to him a child and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is not requesting that we return to our mothers wombs or to the nursery, but to look at what a childlike life offers. A little child is a marvellous creature. He is unfinished and dependent, he is trustful and affectionate, he is eager to learn and improve, he is quick to forgive, he does not keep a grudge and he has an open mind. This is what Jesus praised in children and wants adults to tap into. We all had these qualities as children but our survival instinct has driven us to become more protective of ourselves and sometimes greedy and unconcerned about others. Can we get back to ourselves, our real nature, the hidden lessons from little children?
Let us pray: Lord we are your children, give us the grace to embrace the childlike qualities that leads to true life in Christ. Amen. May the Almighty God bless you, the Father and the son and the Holy Spirit. Amen