The Gospel Today
Memorial of the Guardian Angels
Matthew 18:1-5, 10
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 humbles himself 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.”
Reflection (Sem. Jonathan Cigaral):
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
In my family, we have six nieces and three nephews. Everytime I go home, the moment the kids see me alight from the jeep which I am riding, all of them would scream at the top of their voices yelling “Tito Jojo! Nandito na si Tito Jojo!” Their screams are like music to my ears. All of them would run towards me and each would kiss and hug me. This overflowing excitement of my nieces and nephews soothe my exhaustion from the two hour travel from the seminary to our home. From being so tired, I feel joy in the presence of my little loved ones.
What is so special with little children? Why is that it is with so much joy to be with them?
There are three qualities of little children which make them joyful to be with. Their INNOCENCE, SINCERITY, and SIMPLICITY.
Their INNOCENCE gives them that profound joy in their hearts which an adult can hardly get because grown-ups, like me, are too caught up with ourselves. Little children have that purity in their hearts which make them give what they can give without any malicious intent. Their affection is simply their way of showing their pure love. Their unpolluted minds give them that smile on their faces which make them look like little angels.
SINCERITY is a characteristic which a little child has which make him/her show happiness from the bottom of his/her heart and it comes with no inhibition. If they laugh, that means they are really happy. If cry, that means they are hurt and in need of attention and comfort. If they hug you, or kiss you, that means they miss you and they love you – so much.
If there are people who can be the best model of SIMPLICITY they can be no one else but the little children. They look at the world around them without so much complication. Whenever I watch them play with each other, they exude that happiness which money can never buy. They jump, they run, they swirl around, their entire body releases energy with happiness in it. Whatever they see, they are happy with it. Give them an empty box as big as they are, they can make their own happy world out of that empty box.
Our Gospel is an invitation for grown-ups like me to be like a little child. God’s Words are very clear. If I want to enter the Kingdom of God, I need to be like a little child. Instead of looking at life with so much complexity, which makes it difficult for me to appreciate the bounteous blessings of God, I should have a heart that is as INNOCENT, SINCERE and SIMPLE, like that of a child.
“In the eyes of a child, there is joy, there is laughter. There is hope; there is trust, a chance to see the future. All the lessons of life, there is no better teacher, than to look in the eyes of a child.”