Tuesday 09 August 2022 – DO YOU SCANDALIZE ?

19th Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Ez 2:8—3:4

The Lord GOD said to me: As for you, son of man, obey me when I speak to you: be not rebellious like this house of rebellion, but open your mouth and eat what I shall give you. It was then I saw a hand stretched out to me, in which was a written scroll which he unrolled before me. It was covered with writing front and back, and written on it was:  Lamentation and wailing and woe! He said to me: Son of man, eat what is before you; eat this scroll, then go, speak to the house of Israel. So, I opened my mouth and he gave me the scroll to eat. Son of man, he then said to me, feed your belly and fill your stomach with this scroll I am giving you. I ate it, and it was as sweet as honey in my mouth. He said: Son of man, go now to the house of Israel, and speak my words to them.

Gospel: Mt 18:1-5, 10, 12-14           

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 becomes humble 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. What is your opinion? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.  In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.”                 

DO NOT SCANDALIZE THE LITTLE ONES: The key words in the Gospel are ‘children’ and ‘little ones,’ endowed with the values of humility and God’s love. Jesus exhorts his disciples to become like children to enter into the kingdom. The children are humble because they are dependent on others and they are without much status or position. The humblest is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Jesus says it is through imitating the littleness, openness, innocence and humility of children that we become like them. Jesus also warns against harming the little ones. God shows great concern for those who go astray and he takes all efforts to bring them back to the fold. God’s efforts to recover the lost sheep are manifested in the salvific actions of Jesus.  The concern and compassion that God shows towards the believer must be a norm for the Christians to show concern and compassion towards others.

Prayer:  Lord help me to be humble and inherit your kingdom.

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BE CHILDLIKE: Jesus had great love and respect for children. He blessed the children when their parents brought them to him. To impart a teaching on the members of the kingdom of heaven Jesus uses a child as an example. To make someone great in the kingdom of heaven, Jesus lays down the qualities of the children. Firstly, the children have the quality to forgive and forget. If someone offends the children the children do not keep them to heart for long. Secondly, the children have the quality of learning. They keep their hearts and minds open to any new ideas that come on their way. Thirdly, the children have the quality of humility. They do not look for prime places and name and fame. Fourthly, children have the sense of dependence of God. Fifthly, the children have the quality of trust. A believer also should trust that God will do everything for him in his own time.