Childlike Wisdom

Luke 11: 1-10
Isa 4:2-6 / Psa 72

I give You praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned and have revealed them to the childlike.
(Luke 10:21)

It is in the faith of a child
That His mysteries God will reveal;
Therefore, stay always undefiled
That we may know the Father’s will.

At that moment, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I give You praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because You have hidden these things from the wise and the learned and have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.’ Turning to His disciples, Jesus said to them privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that 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.’ (Lk.10:21-24)

Reflection

The seventy-two disciples whom Jesus had sent ahead of Him had just returned, and were reporting about the success of their individual missions. Filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit, Jesus exulted: “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” (Lk.10:21). Jesus was not only sharing vicariously in the joy of His disciples, but was also praising God that His followers were finally seeing the effects of believing and understanding their faith. The small and humble were accomplishing great deeds, while the wise and the learned remained ignorant of and confounded by Jesus’ Good News of salvation.

Is it just human nature, or is it really part of the divine paradox that those who put too much importance in their intelligence put no premium on their faith? There are times when our intelligence makes us least responsive to God’s Word, or in discerning the signs of the times. When most people were wondering why such brutality as the massacre two years ago of some fifty-eight Mangudadatu relatives, reporters, lawyers and bystanders could have happened, a friend quietly remarked that their martyrdom, like those of the early Christians, was a sign that a great transformation was soon to happen in our country. It definitely caused not only the end of the Ampatuans’ reign of terror in that poor province of Maguindanao and their excesses in the ARMM region of Southern Philippines, but also revealed the complicity of the previous administration in electoral violations. He said their deaths would not be in vain, and true enough, His words turned out to be prophetic after all, even as they were childlike in faith and optimism.

Most of the apostles that our Lord hand-picked were simple, uneducated folk. Like little children, they were so trusting, obedient, innocent and humble — and without the Lord’s guidance, totally helpless. And yet, they later formed the foundation and pillars of the early church. But this does not say that our Lord was biased against the more educated. Saints Paul, Matthew and Luke employed their intellectual skills in propagating the Gospel. But like the rest of Jesus’ leaders, they abandoned their worldly ambitions and chose instead to spread the Good News of God’s kingdom in obedience to the mandate of the Savior.

Wisdom and joy belong to the childlike who puts his trust in God’s providence. He worries less about the ways of the world, which are just too complicated for him. The children of God choose to remain innocent to avoid the complexities of life and the burdens of self-importance. Proud people can never have true wisdom; only the humble attract this gift from God.

Thank You, dear God for this gift of faith, and for the confidence we have in all Your promises, which will make living a lot simpler… and more meaningful. Amen.

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