Little Children and A Lost Sheep

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Gospel Matthew 18:1-5.10.12-14 talks about children and a lost sheep. What is the connection between the two of them? Even though we are not children anymoree but we were children and sometimes we do communicate with the children. So we can imagine what they have that Jesus said to us: “Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” Why do we have to become like them? Of course from all of us, there will be many answers. But for me one of the answers is that they are still pure, sincere, open hearted, and full of joy. Children are easily amazed with new and simple things. They always speak the truth about what they hear, think, and feel.  Children always believe what they are taught.

I remember a story of a friend of mine. He visited his friend. He would like to ask him to go fishing. He went to his friend’s house, and knocked on the door. When the door opened, he saw a little girl, his friend’s daughter. She said: “Uncle, my father asked me to tell you that he went out one hour ago.”

“Where is your father?” my friend asked.

“He is inside but he told me to tell you that he went out one hour ago,” the girl replied. Suddenly his friend showed up, roaring with laughter. He apologized and said that he could not go because he had some important things that need to be done.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ, today Jesus taught us to be like children: pure, sincere, open hearted and full of joy. Jesus wants us to be amazed with God’s works every day in our lives, to be sincere with our lives, and to enjoy God’s gifts.  Everyday we receive many things for granted and we forgot to thank God and enjoy them all. We can learn from the joy of a small kid who receive a candy. It is only a candy, but the happines of the kid remains for the whole day.

Prophet Jehezkiel experienced similar things. He was asked to eat a scroll which was not food at all. But because he obeyed the Lord, and believed that he would not be harmed, he ate it without questioning.  Indeed he was fine and even said that the scroll tasted good. Jehezkiel had a pure heart and faith like children.

As we grow older, all beautiful things of the children dissapear. We then become lost sheeps. We are getting far away from the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus asks us to come back. He rejoices if we do so. How do we come back to Him? Just try to thank God for every single thing that we experienced in our lives and then feel the joy of being open to his gifts and grace.

Fr. Eling - one of the Bolduc Community members - always says that he likes hell than heaven because there are lots of entertainment in hell than in heaven.  The heaven is very boring because there people only pray and pray and pray. But I think Heaven is full of joy because it is like a playground where many children play and laugh but in hell, even if it is true that there are lots of entertainment, it will be full of sad people who overburdened by many troubles because they close their hearts to the true joyfulness.

So my dear Brothers and Sisters, following God’s teaching today, let ourselves be found by Jesus and be taught to be like little children by Him.

 

(Written by: Fr. Reynold Agustinus Sombolayuk, OMI, his Homily in Daily Mass, 09 August 2016, at the Chapel of Bolduc House, Quezon City, Philippines)

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