The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
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. Jeffrey A. Danan)
Most of the time, childhood is associated with being innocent, powerless, and carefree. In our society, we can easily see a child anywhere even on the streets. They are trying to help their families by selling small items and goodies to provide for their daily living. This is the picture of poverty and the street children.
Whenever I see them during our Sunday Mass at our Parish, they bring joy to me regardless if they are noisy or not properly groomed. Why? Because they still give time to visit the house of God despite their activity. They know that the church is their refuge and God is their provider and protector. At Church, I can see children from different backgrounds the noble family of the town, the rich, the poor, and orphans. What they have in common is their dependency for their well-being and survival. They are powerless and they know it.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus raised up a child as a model to imitate. He was not thinking of a child’s so-called weaknesses and helplessness. Instead, a child for Him is very important. To acknowledge vulnerability in complete humility is to achieve real greatness in the eyes of God. Whoever becomes humble like a child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
As a priest-in-process and as I mature, I pray that I may be a channel of God’s grace to bring out the goodness of others and to never lose that child-like simplicity and humility which draws me into the loving presence of God. I am a Christian and dependent on the grace of God. Without Christ, I am nothing.