The Gospel Today
Memorial of Saint Claire, Virgin
Matthew 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.”
Reflection (Sem. Philip Faustino S. Volante)
I once overheard my relatives, including my mom, talk about us, my siblings and cousins. Throughout the conversation, I couldn’t help but notice that they kept on referring to us as “ang mga bata” or the kids. I am now 28 years old, my siblings and cousins are around the same age, and some of them are already married and have children of their own. We are no longer kids! Even though I am complaining inside about being called “bata” or kid, the conversation still made me feel at ease and comfortable, it even brought smile on my lips. That conversation made me feel good and feel important and loved. Why? Because I felt the care and concern that they still look after me, they are praying for me even though I am living my own life and have my own journey to take.
This is the invitation of God to me in our Gospel for today, to show concern not only for myself but most especially to others especially the children. This is the perfect opportunity for me not only to be child-like, but to be Christ-like. And I can be of help by being a good example of love and concern to the children. I have to be a good model to them so that they can be a good model to others also.
Yes, it is clear that God is inviting me to be like a child, open to possibilities, trusting and loving. But I guess God is also inviting me, through the Gospel, to be a responsible adult as well.
As a priest–in–process, I must guard the flock so that none of them will get lost. I must always remember that a child is the future of the Church; we have to take care of them, enlighten them, and bring them closer to God. Just like my parents and relatives, we must always look after one another, show concern for each other, and love unconditionally our brothers and sisters.