13 August 2019. Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Reflection (Sem. John Reyman S. Dabuet)
Before entering the seminary, I was employed as a staff nurse in a tertiary hospital in Pasay City. Specifically, I provided nursing care to sick babies, children, and teenagers as I was assigned in the pediatric ward for five years. I actually loved my job, yet, I chose to give up that love of caring for children because I wanted to respond to the call of God to discernment for the priesthood. I loved the children whom I cared for, but I also love the Father who cares for me and who calls me to a ministry where I can serve Him more.
In my past ministry, I remember how children were so gentle even when they were ill. They were so vulnerable that their parents and family are moved with pity seeing them with uncomfortable intravenous lines on their arms or hands. As their caregiver, I am also moved with compassion, but I could only do my duty with much care. And yet even if I may cause pain or trauma to them, I continue with my job for I know they depend on me for their healing and recovery. They are somehow easier to care for than adults since they never complain, and they fully submit to those who care for them.
This is how I reflected on today’s Gospel about being humble like a child in order to be fit for the Kingdom of Heaven. Our humility as God’s followers must be like children, more so like sick children – utterly dependent, gentle, and receptive to the help given by others. These childlike attitudes bring us closer to the Father because the greater we humble ourselves before Him, the greater we depend and place our all in Him.
The Gospel Today
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.”