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Memorial of the Guardian Angels, Monday, October 2, 2023



The disciples approached Jesus and said, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. "See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father."


Reflection


I have always found this Gospel passage to be particularly meaningful. It serves as a gentle reminder for us to embrace a more child-like perspective in our lives. When I think about experiencing life through the eyes of a child, I imagine wide eyes filled with trust, wonder and awe, giving a sense of pure innocence.

I think sometimes, people may associate children with being troublemakers or difficult to control, always venturing into places they shouldn’t…I can just imagine the disciples being confused by Jesus’s sentiment to “become like children” and thinking just that. But I see this behavior as curiosity and a joyful, playful approach to life. Children are excited to try new things, unburdened by the fear of making mistakes, they dive into experiences wholeheartedly with such trust. Of course, this doesn't mean we should act recklessly or without consideration of consequences. That is not what Jesus was trying to say at all. Our actions do have repercussions, but it would be beneficial to adopt some child-like qualities. Imagine approaching life with the same eagerness for knowledge that children possess, like little sponges, soaking up everything they see and hear. In order to take this approach they have trust, whether that be trust in their parents to be there for them and pick them up if they fall, or in their teachers to guide their learning and trust they are teaching them the truth. To be child-like is to approach God with a heart that is open, trusting, and receptive. It's a call to recognize our need for God's guidance and grace, just as a child depends on their parents or teachers.

Furthermore, we should also not shy away from asking questions about our faith, just as children do without fear or hesitation. I think as adults, we often feel pressure to have all the answers. However, it's perfectly okay not to have all the answers, and in fact, asking questions is a sign of a desire to learn and grow. We should have a passion and a thirst for understanding our faith on a deeper level, just like a child's natural curiosity about the world around them. We can implement this child-like approach in our spiritual lives, especially during Mass. Instead of merely going through the motions, we can attend with wide eyes, eager to learn and gain something new from the experience. It means being fully present, not dozing off or being distracted, but actively engaging with the same enthusiasm that a child brings to exploring the world. In doing so, we can find renewed joy, wonder, and a deeper connection to our faith.

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