The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
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.”
Reflection (Sem. Mark Ian Abu):
In the Gospel, Jesus makes the child a model for His disciples: “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. The policy of God is: “The one who humbles himself will be exalted”. This leads me to the question, How can I humble myself like a child? Jesus did not enumerate in the Gospel what should be the attitude that I must possess in order to be child-like because children in those times have the same characteristics as the ones we have now, meek and humble. And so, if I want to become humble, I need to pattern myself to the attitude of a child. Aside from the fact that children are dependent, simple, forgiving, sweet, courteous and kind; being meek and humble are the attitudes that are most of the times I cannot imitate from them. According to Mother Teresa of Calcutta, “humility is not hiding talents -saying that I can’t do that, I cannot do this- but humility is truth.” Jesus asks me to be meek and humble of heart. Meekness first, because meekness is present in each other. This word can be translated as sweetness and kindness, and these attitudes are just inside me. On the other hand, Jesus came also to show me how to become humble, the humility of the Heart of God. Humility cannot be learned from books, it can be attained from humiliations accepted. If I am humble, not even the whole of hell can touch me because humility is the destroyer of pride, it is the destroyer of the devil.
The little children are present in our midst and they will always be there not just to become apple of the eyes because of their cuteness but most of all they are there as living reminders to us that to be like them is the only way to salvation. Bear in mind that we are invited to become child-like not childish. Let us always look and respect the children from whom we can learn to become meek and humble.