Our 5 year old selves

Remember when you were five … well maybe not, but think back to the last 5-year-old that you have met and think about one of the most important things about being 5, it was wanting with all of your might to be 6. It was so important that we were older that we would count half years. We were not 5 we were 5 and a half. Or almost 6 or 5 and this many, proudly showing all of our fingers ….

When was it that we stopped doing that? I cannot think of one “adult” that is 55 and a half. As a matter of fact, the other day I saw a post that a friend was “sweet 16” with 36 years of experience.

Part of this comes from us always wanting something that we cannot have, and the other part comes from not knowing what we have until we have lost it. I can’t be any older or younger than I am right now for I want that desperately. And I don’t know how wonderful it is to be 5 years old so I, naturally want to be 6.

So, today’s gospel makes perfect sense,
“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.”

Wait a minute, I have been told, for the better part of my adult life that I need to “grow up”, “stop acting like a child”, and that I have to “act my age.” So what is Jesus saying here? We should all start walking around like 5-year-old, because if that is the case then all of you guys are yucky!

Before we resort to that perhaps we should look at those traits that our lord might have been refereeing to. Other than the qualities of immaturity, inexperience and selfishness, young children also have the traits of honesty, simplicity and purity. Think of the image referred to in the gospel, “He called a child over, placed it in their midst”. Right before this the disciples were being “adult” and “Grown up” by asking who was “the greatest”. Can’t you just see Jesus roll his eyes and turn to pull this child into their midst?
And the He makes Himself clear, “Whoever become humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Oh, that makes sense. He was not talking about memorizing the times tables, or dealing with acne, He was talking of the purity of heart that only a child has. What choice do they have/ They don’t know any better? They still trust everyone, they still believe everyone, they still love everyone.

Have you ever seen those videos where someone “different” is placed into a group of 5 years old’s? Someone that looks different, acts different, sounds different. And remember how long it took for them to be accepted?

This is what He was talking about, at 5 years old all that you know is love one another. You don’t know any better. You have not yet learned that “those” people are different. That that group “is not to be trusted”. And where do they, eventually, learn all of that? Not from God, not from His teachings. We teach them that. And, that is one of the things that He warns of here, “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.”

Not only does this childlike nature assure us of a place in the kingdom of God, but if we do not care for this nature … if we despise that nature, we will be giving up something that is so special; “for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly father.

What an amazing proposition. Their guardian angel is in heaven, right now, looking upon the face of God. I want that guy to be my angel …

Today’s alleluia verse is, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart.” That comes from Matthew chapter 11, verse 29. The entire passage reads, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Alleluia

MT 12:1-5, 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.”

August 9, 2022

Share any comments, thoughts or questions through the links below, or email deaconed@crestedbuttecatholic.org.

Print your tickets