Today’s Gospel: Luke 10: 21- 24
“Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,”I give you praise, 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 who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Turning to the disciples in private he said, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
This passage repeats a theme often found in the teaching of Jesus – being childlike. At the beginning of Matthew 18, the disciples asked Jesus: “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus answered them by drawing their attention to a child in their midst, saying: “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven” (18:3). These passages help us see that in order to receive God’s revelation and enter the kingdom of heaven, we must be like a child. We can’t begin the journey nor arrive at the destination without this fundamental turn.
When we choose to be like a child, we are not disregarding responsibilities or playing all day long. Rather, by God’s grace and invitation, we are choosing to be a child of the Father. We are letting the Heavenly Father be our Father. We choose to trust Him, love Him, and to remain with Him. We recognize that we need Him and so we turn to Him, believing that He knows what is best for us. We want to check with Him to see if what we are doing is pleasing to Him and is good for us. We do this not because we are afraid of being put in timeout, but because we do not want to offend Him. Our God, who is totally good and deserving of all our love, is a Father to us! Being a child of the Father means having a heart that is open to receiving His revelation of Jesus, and living in anticipation of His kingdom to come.
To be childlike is to stand in contrast with the wise and learned, like the scribes and pharisees who kept rejecting Jesus. They believed that they could save themselves by knowing and doing all the right things. But if we believe we know everything, what can He reveal to us? If we believe we are well enough, how can He heal us? If we believe we are righteous, how can He cleanse us of all our sin? If we refuse to be childlike, we do not desire His revelation or His kingdom.
As we look to today’s theme of being childlike, we should also consider that every theme we’ve considered so far (being watchful, alert, humble, and having faith in Jesus) and all that are to come will benefit our marriage in addition to our faith. Everyday that the two of you set aside time to turn together in prayer, seek to grow in your faith, and live it out intentionally you are deepening your relationship with God and also making your marriage stronger. If it is hard to see the connection, please stay tuned! God is not outdone in generosity and all the time and sacrifice you are making for your faith and for your marriage will not be in vain.
Prayers of Thanksgiving:
We “give you praise, 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.
Prayers of Petition:
Lord we ask you to help us receive you with childlike faith and childlike trust. Lord forgive us for the times we let our pride diminish our need for you and care for others. Help us also to rejoice in the Holy Spirit for all the good things you have done. Give us eyes that see and ears that hear You O Lord! Just as Jesus came to us as a child, may we become like a child to receive You anew!
One of the great stumbling blocks to becoming like a child is the sin of pride. It is pride that we must avoid if we desire to be like a child. Set time aside today at three different points where you turn to God individually and pray an Our Father for your spouse and for the two of you to become more like little children: ready to forgive, quick to love, and open to the Father’s will.
“Prayer prevents emotions of pride and envy. Prayer draws into the soul the Holy Spirit, and raises man to Heaven.” St. Ephraem of Syria
“Satisfaction consists in the cutting off of the causes of the sin. Thus, fasting is the proper antidote to lust; prayer to pride, to envy, anger and sloth; alms to covetousness.” St. Richard of Chichester