Bishop Thomas Gumbletonby Bishop Thomas Gumbleton
Pax Christi USA Teacher of Peace

I think sometimes when we first hear the words of Jesus of today’s Gospel, we might wonder, “Well, is Jesus really expecting us to become like little children? Doesn’t he expect us to grow and become all that God wants us to be — fully mature people?” Well, the answer is yes, God does want us to become all that God has made us to be. But there is something about children, little children, that makes them good models for us in what Jesus is trying to teach us.

See, children at a young age are curious. They want to find out more. They want to listen and learn. They’re anxious to know, discover new things. And sometimes as we grow older, we begin to think we know it all. We can’t learn anything new; we’ve got the answers. Jesus says that he gives thanks to God because God has actually revealed to little ones — those who listen, those who are open to hearing a new word from God. They’re the ones that are blessed. In fact, Jesus, a little bit later on, says, “Unless you become like little children, you’ll never enter the reign of God.”

So we must become like children, ready to listen, to learn, to grow in what Jesus wants to teach us. There’s an important reason for this because if you look back in the book of the prophet Isaiah, you find the prophet saying, “My thoughts” — speaking for God — “my thoughts are not your thoughts. My ways are not your ways. As high as the heavens are above the Earth, so high are my thoughts above your thoughts, and my ways above your ways.” What Isaiah is telling us is that God’s ways are different, profoundly different, from what we’re used to, from what our human ways are….

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