Tuesday, 12 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

I bet when the disciples asked Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of God they were expecting answers along the lines of "the holiest", "the most kind", etc. They must have been surprised when Jesus asked them to be like children. You see, children in ancient times, being defenseless and totally dependent on others, had no rights, position, or privileges other than what other adults gave them. Thus they were subject to the whims and desires of their parents, and the way they were treated ranged from spoilt pets to free labor force.

There must be some qualities inherent in children that helps them to be great in the eyes of God. I can think of two:
- total faith and trust in those with authority over them. Toddlers seldom question what they received from their parents (love, care, teaching, moral code, etc.), but simply accept and integrate whatever they received. Similarly we are to trust in God and His church. This does not mean we are not to question, just receive certain Truths as absolutely correct (the Apostle's Creed for instance) and depend on God like a child would depend on his/her parents.
- readiness to learn anything and everything. Children are extremely open-minded, absorbing facts and language like sponges. They use these as building blocks to construct their understanding of the world. They also ask questions in order to elicit more information, and they easily abandon constructs that do not work. We should be like this also, i.e. our life and view of the world should be constructed using the Word of God. Christian life is not meant to be an alter-ego or another personality, but seamlessly integrated into our everyday living. To do this successfully we need to know more about what counts as Christian living (WWJD, Church rules, etc.). We can't do this with blind faith, but with open minds, prayerful hearts, and unquenchable desire to seek God and His Church.

Today's Bible Readings (Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time)

Below are some readings for today Tue 12 Aug:

Ezekiel 2: 8 — 3: 4
As for you, son of man, listen to what I am saying to you: Do not rebel like that rebellious house! Open your mouth and eat what I am giving you.” Then I looked and realized a hand was stretched out to me, and in it was a written scroll. He unrolled it before me, and it had writing on the front and back; written on it were laments, mourning, and woe.
He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you see in front of you1 – eat this scroll – and then go and speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth and he fed me the scroll. He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your belly with this scroll I am giving to you.” So I ate it, and it was sweet like honey in my mouth. He said to me, “Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak my words to them.

Matthew 18: 1-5, 10, 12-14
At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child, had him stand among them, and said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn around and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven! Whoever then humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me.
See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? If someone owns a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go look for the one that went astray? And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that one of these little ones be lost.”

Daily Bible Verse

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