by Jeff Reedy, Store Manager, Sidewalk Advocates for Life
Verse(s): “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'” – Matthew 18:1-3
Reflection: Jesus is answering the disciples’ foolish questions about who will be greatest in the kingdom. The questions are foolish because they don’t understand how things work in the Kingdom. Yet.
So Jesus gives them a little lesson: He welcomes a small child to come sit with Him, and He tells the disciples that they must become like little children in order to even ENTER the Kingdom of Heaven. And then He goes on to give very serious consequences to those who harm the little ones.
We start at home. I begin fixing my own “stupid.” In my life, I’ve had the gift of tutoring children with different kinds of challenges. The way I challenge myself, for example, is by learning to be patient with those who are slower at learning, and helping them along their way. Teach them, rather than ridicule them. That’s helping the little ones Jesus talked about, not hurting them.
Obviously, we can’t FORCE anyone to leave their foolishness and stupidity behind and move into the light — we aren’t responsible for MAKING them change. We are responsible for how WE act, and for setting an example that they can follow if they are willing.
We can fix stupid — our own stupid. And then we can help those who are willing to fix theirs, too. Maybe if enough of us start doing that, we can help to begin healing our broken world.
God, thanks for reminding us that fixing the world begins with fixing ourselves.
Faith Challenge: What in your life is not healthy, happy, or holy? Begin with one thing — one virtue that you resolve to pray about and grow in. Ask God to help you walk more closely with Him as He uses you to be a docile, powerful light to those in need.