July 17, 2019 – Wednesday, 15th Week in Ordinary Time
From the Gospel of Matthew (11:25-27)
At that time Jesus exclaimed:
“I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows the Son except the Father,
and no one knows the Father except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Do you know the average questions a child would ask? According to a survey, approximately, a child of about 3 to 5 years old would ask 300 questions a day with an average of 1 question every 2 minutes.
These questions come from a child’s curiosity. Children would easily marvel at anything and are amazed with everything and everyone. This makes a child welcoming to the many surprises that come.
The innocence of children, their simplicity and humility make them receptive to the many wonders that surround them. Thus, children easily recognize what is beautiful, good, amazing and surprising even with simple things. They easily get excited in a simple toy. They are delighted in a simple gift. They respond with pleasure to a simple smile.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reminds us how the Father reveals the mystery of salvation, of His gift of healing and peace to the children and the childlike. Of course, God reveals His mystery to all but only the children and the childlike are blessed to receive God’s blessing, simply because of the qualities of being welcoming and humble.
Jesus warns us adults of our tendency to claim that we already know everything. This is true because when we become adults we also tend to claim our independence. We cease to be curious because we become over confident to what we have achieved.
Jesus criticized the attitude of those people during His time who claimed to be the “masters of the world,” the wise and the learned. The knowledge that they have gained in many years of experiences prevented them to learn new things. They have become arrogant and unwelcoming. These attitudes prevented them to receive God’s revelations and invitations.
We have to be careful then, when we begin to be arrogant with our own success, when we feel superior of what we have become and over-confident of what we have accumulated. These attitudes might prevent us from recognizing the many wonders that God reveals and to His invitation for us.
Jesus reminds us today to re-learn our previous qualities when we were children, and to re-learn those qualities through the children around us. However, this also includes un-learning our arrogance and un-learning our tendency to make things under our control and the desire to make ourselves certain of all things. Once we are able to re-learn and un-learn, then, we will also become childlike who are open and welcoming to the many wonders around us and receptive to the many gifts that are being offered to us.
Take time then to ask questions, to be surprised even with ordinary things, to be delighted even with simple greetings of smiles around you. Take time to stop and say hello to a friend. You may also take time to witness a sunrise or sunset or even while sipping your coffee and eating your meal. You may also take time in giving more attention and presence to a loved one speaking to you and expressing his or her concern and love for you.
Hopefully, by re-learning the qualities of a child and un-learning our close-minded adult attitudes, we may also discover more and more how God unfolds His presence in us and His blessings for us. Hinaut pa.
Jom Baring, CSsR