11 August 2020

To be a child

18th Week OT (T)
Fr. Philip Neri Powell, OP
St Dominic Priory, NOLA

What is it to be like a child? More specifically, what is it to be “a little one”? We might think Christ is talking about innocence here. Purity of heart. Minds unfazed by adult obligations. Spontaneous, playful. Or, maybe he's saying we need to be blissfully ignorant and demanding. Centered squarely on self – my needs. Probably not. Given the context of this passage, it's more likely that Christ is telling us to remain firmly centered in our dependent relationship with the Father; that is, to remain humble. It's one thing to be dependent and quite another to acknowledge this dependence and rely on it. We can easily betray the humility necessary for salvation by making idols of our plans, schedules, goals, and programs. That is, pretty much anything that reaches out to grab control of Divine Providence with merely human effort. Little Ones are taken care of. Little Ones are protected. The Little One who declares his independence from God and wanders off usually ends up lost or in the belly of a wolf. Christ will come looking for his lost sheep. But the lost must want to be found.

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