August 9, 2011 - Tuesday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today's Readings

Jesus puts a child before us today and recommends him as our example. How beautiful that he did not merely talk about children in general. Instead, he called a child over and placed him in the midst of the disciples. The disciples got to really look at the child and consider how they should imitate him.

We do not have the benefit of having a child in our midst today, so we will have to use our imaginations. Do not imagine an older child, already too much like an adult. Imagine a 3 year old. This is our ideal, not in his selfishness, but in his sincerity, not in his naiveté but in the complete trust he places in his parents. A toddler has not yet learned about his parents’ imperfections.

What are the imperfections of a parent? Since every parent is subject to original sin, they are selfish. Every parent fails to do right by their child, not even considering bad parents who do cruel things to their children. Even the best parent is not able to protect their child from all the dangers of the world. Growing up means realizing that our parents sometimes do what is wrong and will occasionally fail even when they try to do what is right.

However, our Father in heaven is perfect. “He will never fail you or forsake you.” Everything we have learned since the age of 3 about mistrusting this world and depending on ourselves should be forgotten with regard to God. He alone can be trusted completely; we do not need to hold back anything. “He will never fail you or forsake you.” Not on purpose and not by accident. We do not need to be afraid or suspicious. We can completely give up our cynicism. The world is a tough place, but in God, finally, we have a safe haven that cannot be defeated.

What a relief it will be to live once again the carefree life of a child! We do not need to care about silly things like who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. We get to be a little one. We get to grow up all over again, learning to share and help each other. We do not need to compete against each other anymore, not for money, not for our Father’s love. There is more than enough to go around.