Friday 2nd October

26th Week in Ordinary Time

“…unless you change and become like little children you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” [Matthew 18:3]

Anselm famously described theology as “faith seeking understanding.” In the Christian life, it can be tempting to confuse faith with understanding. That is to say, one might think they’re more faithful if they have a deeper understanding of the Catholic faith. But an understanding of the Catholic faith is not necessarily faith! Whilst the pursuit of theological understanding is limitless, unending and at times complex, faith in its purist form is quite simple. Jesus calls his listeners to be like children, and to receive the Kingdom of God like a child. (Mark 10:15)

 As a father of 5 children, I can simply ask my children to get into the car because we’re going on a day trip. I can tell them that it’s going to be great, and they will just believe me, even if they don’t know the location and have never been there before. They will all bounce around with excitement, probably spend ten minutes finding their other shoe or missing sock, and after a likely altercation with a brother or sister, they’ll have all made their way to the car and strapped themselves in. Once in the car, they may ask a few more questions. The answers may or may not be fully understood, but they’re happy nonetheless. They’re on an adventure with Dad.

Why would Jesus ask us to be like children? My own children teach me why. They listen to me as their father, they trust what I say completely, they respond with enthusiasm, excitement and obedience, and though they might struggle to get things together, they follow nonetheless and are just happy to be out with Dad.

The same is true for all the baptised. Jesus is calling us to be like children. He is asking us to, like children, listen to our heavenly father, trust what he says completely, and respond with enthusiasm, excitement and obedience. Like children, we may not know where God is taking us, but we’re excited because we’re on an adventure with God. And that kind of adventure is always the best kind of adventure!

by Peter Pellicaan

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