Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Revealed to the Childlike

Revealed to the Childlike

July 18, 2012
Wednesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

By Colleen O'Sullivan

At that time Jesus exclaimed:  “I give praise to you, 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.  Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.  All things have been handed over to me by my Father.  No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:25-27)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

Lord, let me be as open as a small child to what you are saying and revealing to me today.  May I love you with abandon, trust you with all my heart, and delight in the wonders of your creation.

I know not everyone would agree with me, but I find babies and small children delightful.  Yes, they are very needy and sometimes very loud in their needs and wants, but I find being with them refreshing after spending most of my time in the world of adults.

One of my friends has a 20-month-old grandson.  He loves his “Nana” with all his heart.  When she arrives, he runs to the door, full of welcoming hugs and kisses.  No matter how short or long the visit, he wails when it’s time for her to leave.

My friend posted a photo on Facebook of the two of them at the beach.  There they are, hand in hand, walking across the sand toward the water.  Little ones are so very trusting.  They depend on us to take care of them.  They bring their hurts and troubles to be soothed, believing that we will make everything all right in their world.

Watch a baby’s expression sometime as she discovers her toes or realizes she can roll over.  The look of wonder is priceless.  Or watch a little boy’s delight and see the sparkle in his eyes as he experiences his first snowfall or spends time blowing bubbles with a parent.

It’s sad in a way that as we grow up, we shed some of these childlike characteristics.  We become more selective in our affections.  We become conscious of what others think of us.  We become more sophisticated and cynical, no longer willing to trust so completely in another. Where once we were full of wonder and amazement, we are now rushed to meet the demands of our oh-so-important schedules.  If we become too “wise and learned,” too caught up in ourselves, we can no longer see what God is trying to show us or say to us.

Jesus says that all is revealed to the childlike – to those who see with eyes full of wonder and delight, to those whose hearts overflow with love toward others, to those who put themselves trustingly in the hands of God.

We grow up and mature.  We give up childish ways but hopefully retain our childlike trust in God and our openness to all that the Lord is doing in our lives and in the world.

When you have a few minutes, select a miracle or healing story from one of the Gospels.  Read through it once.  Don’t pick up any commentaries or theology books and look up the passage.  Just close your eyes and imagine yourself as part of the scene.  How do you find yourself reacting?  Are you second-guessing Jesus as the Pharisees did and as many so-called learned adults do?  Or are you taking it all in with the wide-eyed acceptance of a child?  

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