25th Sunday in Ordinary Time
For the second time, Jesus predicts his coming death and resurrection. But the disciples did not listen and understand. Instead, they were discussing who was the greatest among them.
Once back to Capernaum, Jesus began to ask them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” Jesus then highlights his teaching regarding humble service. He tells them, “If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Taking a child, he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”
With that, the Lord is trying to give us qualities that make the child the symbol of those who are the greatest in the kingdom. With that the Lord is trying to give us qualities that make the child the symbol of those who are the greatest in the kingdom: 1) THE CHILD’S HUMILITY 2) THE CHILD’S SIMPLICITY 3) THE CHILD’S DEPENDENCE 4) THE CHILD’S TRUST.
Here is how Augustine sees humility: humility is not in the first instance an attitude towards oneself at all but towards God and other people. “Briefly, it means the willingness to let God be God; that is, to acknowledge one’s dependence upon His creative power; to rejoice in gratitude for His blessings; to adopt the ways of the Lord as one’s own; to accept in contrition the judgment of God when one falls short; to trust His power and willingness to forgive and to redeem.” If you have that attitude, the rest—simplicity, dependence, and trust—will follow.
The child’s humility and simplicity are the patterns of the Christians’ behavior to his fellow men and the child’s DEPENDENCE and TRUST are the patterns of a Christian’s attitude towards God.
Let me end with a story:
Someone says there is a great sign over the gate of heaven which reads ‘For Children Only’. And if that worries you, we are told there is another notice on the gate which reads ‘Adults will be admitted if accompanied by Children’. It’s a mysterious gate. It opens when it sees a child! And a child has no problem with that wonder. It is the adult who wants to have control, to make sure he has the key. The child will trust. The kingdom is a gift. We cannot control it. If you try to control it, you immunize yourself against it. Accept it as a child.