The Gospel according to 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.”
I wanted to focus on the one phrase in today’s Gospel, where Jesus tells His disciples that His Father has revealed to “the childlike” the mysteries of the kingdom. What does it mean to be “childlike”, anyway?
I think of it this way – one who is “childlike” is one who has no ability to act in a way other than how that person feels. There is no deception, no hiding of one’s feelings, no putting on a mask to make someone think something else. No. One who is “childlike” is one for whom the phrase “what you see is what you get” is absolutely spot on. I’ve seen these qualities in my own children, my nieces and nephews, and more recently in my granddaughter as well. It’s a wonderful innocence that I wish would last forever.
Why do children lose that innocence? It’s because they gradually trust less and rely on themselves more. They learn more about the world and develop opinions about it, and those whom they interact with. Sad to say, they learn cynicism, jealousy, and envy as they grow. It’s those qualities in particular, that Jesus is talking about in today’s Gospel. Who were the cynical, jealous, envious people of His time? The scholars of the law, the scribes and the Pharisees, that’s who. They were the ones who viewed themselves as important, and they loved to lord that importance over everyone.
Jesus counsels us not to be like that. We are told to be more childlike. We are told to trust in the God who made us, that we may learn more about His heart, and be better able to share that heart of love with all whom we meet. It totally goes against how we change as we get older. But, what a wonderful process to try to emulate! How can each of us be more “childlike”? How can we be genuine in our love for others as Jesus was, and what better time is there to work on that, than this blessed season of Advent?
Action for the Day:
Pause today and consider how you can be more childlike in your faith. Ask our Lord to show you how to trust Him better, and then share what you have learned with someone special in your life!
If you would like to hear this reflection, click the link below!