8/9/2022 Today’s Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
1 The disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a child over, placed it in their midst,
3 and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
4 Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.
10 “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.
12 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?
13 And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
14 In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”
8/9/2022 Today’s Gospel Reflection: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
There are two important paradoxes in the gospel reading above. First, we know that children are the smallest of human beings but Jesus calls them the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. During the time of Jesus, women and children have no rights. Their voices are not heard. So for Jesus to say that a child is the greatest comes as a huge shock to His listeners.
Jesus was aware that a lot of His listeners were always thinking of themselves. In fact, they brought out the question “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God?” because they were assuming they were in the best position to be called the greatest. Unfortunately, they were disappointment.
The second paradox is the idea that many of us are seeking God but in verses 12 to 13 of the gospel above, it is actually God who is looking for us. He does not want any of His children to be lost. In our sinful ways, we always get lost. Even in the beginning, when Adam and Eve committed sin, they hid themselves among the trees. God came looking for them and shouted, “Where are you?” He is still asking the same question today. Where are you?
The message of Jesus in our gospel reading is change or conversion. He is calling us to become like children who are humble enough to admit their sinfulness and who are dependent to God the Father who protects them and provide for all their needs. Jesus is telling us that only in humility can we be able to recognize our nothingness before God. He is teaching us that only in humility can we be able to give ourselves in service to others.