The Humility of Children

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In the first reading today from Deuteronomy 31, Moses delivers his farewell address. He has seen an awful lot in his 120 years. Now it is time for the children of Israel to go into the promised land. But Moses will not be going with them. So he tells them, “It is the Lord who marches before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or foresake you.” Words for us to live by.

In the Gospel reading from Matthew 18, the disciples ask Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” Jesus places a child in their midst and says, “Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” There are many ways that we need to become childlike in regard to our spiritual lives. Children have this beautiful sense of wonder about the world. We need to recapture that. To look at a tree or a bug or a baby and marvel at the wonders that God has wrought.

But Jesus mentions the humility of children. This is what I think we as adults lose the most. Children are dependent upon their parents. It takes humility to recognize that. But perhaps the greatest humble trait of children is that they are not afraid to acknowledge that they need help, and they ask for it. Imagine that! When we can come to grips with the fact that we don’t have it all under control, and that we could use a hand…that is when true spiritual growth begins.

Father, help us to become more childlike in our faith. To understand that we can do nothing apart from You. Father, help us!! Amen.

Today’s Readings


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