Jesus requires his disciples to have the characteristics of children. He is talking to adults who can still be formed to be childlike. By nature, children are open. They easily absorb and learn their lessons. They look up to their parents who can guide and discipline them. They easily forgive the wrong done to them, harbor no rancor, and restore friendships after fighting.
The Gospel comes from a section in Matthew that deals with relationships in the community. His disciples are not just individuals, but Jesus considers them as a family, a community. Jesus wants everyone to enter the Kingdom of God through the community that promotes his teachings. Other members can help develop faith and proper behavior befitting a community. Members should be like children who depend on their parents, brothers and sisters, or relatives to grow not only bodily but also spiritually.
No disciple is self-made. One is also formed by the interpretations of the community that we now call Church. Those who think they can manage to enter heaven by themselves without the community must think again.
Today many find difficulty in living in communities because from childhood, they have not learned how to live in a family. Nevertheless, the challenge is to be like children wherever we are.
Gospel • Mt 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.”
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2019,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.