To Be Like a Child

Luke 7:31-35
1 Tm 3:14-16 / Ps 111:1-6

Wisdom is proved right by all her children.
(Luke 7:35)

He grows old who is cynical,
But God’s child sees good in all things;
Rather than being critical,
Let’s praise God for all that life brings.

Jesus addressed these words to the pharisees and scholars of the law who did not follow Him or John the Baptist: “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: “‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.’ For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.”‘But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” (Lk.7:31-35)

Reflection

We remember Jesus saying that anyone who does not receive the kingdom like a little child shall not enter into it (Lk.18:17). But there are some people who cannot distinguish between having the faith of a child and acting like a child. At times we behave in childish ways. When we begin to feel self-righteous (comparing ourselves to others), then like the pharisees, we are being childish. When we are prone to criticize the mistakes of others (like the hypocritical teachers of the law and the Sadducees who were forever finger-pointing), then we are being childish.

In his letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul said, When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. (1 Cor. 13:11) We begin to put our childishness behnd us when we are shamed by our sins, and our remorse leads us to become child-like. It is when we seek and understand the Word of God that we grow into mature Christians, and begin to go and witness to others. As St. Paul taught in another letter, Where the Word of God is used for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, the people of God become thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Tim. 3:16-17). It is then that “Wisdom is proved right by her children.”

Jesus was accused by the pharisees as being a friend of sinners. We should only feel so fortunate that Jesus Christ is the friend of sinners, otherwise where would you and I be? Having been forgiven of our sins, we must now learn to see others as He did, regarding them with eyes of compassion rather than condemnation. That is how we can be childlike in our faith, as true children of God.

Teach us to be humble, Lord, to be trusting and obedient, that in Your eyes we may always be childlike, and still grow into mature, responsible Christians. Amen.

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