God favors the Childlike

October 1, 2022 – Saturday of the 26th Week in Ordinary Time

Click here for the readings (https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/100122.cfm)

The attitude of children, that is, of being trusting, dependent and open to surprises makes them more welcoming. Such attitude of the heart is empty of any judgment and biases, of any pretensions and entitlement. These are the reasons why Jesus would make a child as an image of those who belong to the Kingdom of Heaven because God’s favor truly belongs to the childlike.

In contrast, a heart that has grown old and has become unwelcoming of what is new and to surprises becomes judgmental, pretentious and entitled. This is an expression of an arrogant heart that refuses the Divine Presence and the call of God for a change of heart.

This is where we find the significance of Jesus’ words today in the Gospel. Jesus gave praise to his Father in Heaven for the revelation given to those who are childlike like the disciples. The wise and the learned who claimed knowledge of the world and mastery of life and faith have refused to recognize God’s presence among them through the person of Jesus. Only to these ordinary men and women who followed Jesus that they recognized the great presence of the Lord God in their midst.

This is also the story of Job revealed in the last chapter of the Book in the first reading. Job, though, he could not fully understand the ways of the Lord became more trusting to God. He stopped justifying himself for being righteous and good and insisting that God should be God according to his own beliefs. At the end, Job allowed the Lord God to be God and be more surprised at how the Lord works wonders on earth and in his life. Job realized the importance of growing in confidence with God just like a child.

This is what St. Therese of the Child Jesus also exemplified in her life. Therese was indeed a dear child of God who constantly desired the Divine Presence in her life. Her childlike heart allowed her to see things differently from others. She saw goodness and kindness of every person despite the fact that she too was misunderstood by her co-nuns. Therese’s heart that was most confident in the presence of the Lord made her contemplative life to be more active by reaching the hearts of others even when she was just staying in their monastery. Indeed, her childlike heart that belonged to God touched the hearts of many and brought them to also see Jesus, and encounter Jesus through the young Therese.

Today, as Christians, we too are called to become childlike and not let our hearts grow old, bitter and be filled with pretensions. As we grow in our confidence and trust in the Lord, then, allow the Lord also to surprise us with his Divine Presence, to see what the Lord wants us to see and to hear what the Lord wants us to hear. Kabay pa.


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