The Greatest in the Kingdom
In today’s gospel the disciples of Jesus Christ were arguing about which of them is the greatest. Jesus knows about their petty arguing and brings forth a child and puts the child by His side and says, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me; for the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest,” (v. 48). In other words, He encourages them to imitate the simplicity and humility of a child or to be child-like. This is not to romanticize the children in those days because a child was actually, nobody. Just like in our modern society, children are nobody too. Elizabeth Elliot, quoted in the 365 Days with the Lord 2007, writes against the horror of abortion in her book, Keep a Quiet Heart. She said: “There is strong protest, at least in the media, against the death penalty for criminals. There is no protest in major magazines against the death penalty for unborn children and no corresponding eagerness for pictures or descriptions of just how it is done,” (p. 200).
The great promoter of the life of spiritual childhood in our times is St. Therese of Lisieux, whose feast is October 1. In her short life, she reached such heights of closeness to God and such wisdom of heart that she has been recently declared a Doctor of the Church. This means that the Church is confirming the correctness and importance of her teaching. And also she is considered to be an outstanding teacher of the faith. Her teaching is what she called her Little Way. That if we want to go to God, she reminded us that we must be like little children: simple, humble and trusting. Above all, we must love God our Father. Let us try to be like children before God, children in simplicity and humility.
I would like to propose also on how to be greatest in the Kingdom of God:
- Be good to yourself. Anger, Hurt and Unforgiving, all of these do not do good to us. So let us forgive. Soc Rodrigo said: “Nanduon ako galit na galit, nalaman ko na lang na ang kaaway ko ay tulog na tulog at naghihilik pa”.
- Thank God for the blessings receive and share them to others. Let us consider this as our thanksgiving thought: if you have food, clothes and a home, you are richer than the 75% of this world; if you have some money in the bank, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy; if you wake up this morning, you’re more blessed than two million who will not survive this week; if you have experienced peace and freedom, you’re ahead of five hundred million people in the world; if you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people who cannot read at all.
- Love others now and not tomorrow. Why wait for a person to die and then give flowers: don’t postpone your loving.
- Live a peaceful life. How? Learn from this message: remove worries from your head, remove hatred from your heart, live simply, expect less, give more and have a deep relationship with God
“Lord, grant us the grace of true humility so that we can be your instrument and apostle.”