Dt 31:1-8; Ps Dt 32:3-4,7-9,12; Mt 18:1-5,10,12-14
We continue to follow the book of Deuteronomy as Moses prepares the people to enter into the Promised Land, their inheritance and heritage.
Moses is winding down his career. He is letting go of control. He is allowing another to take his place.
This in itself is a necessary quality of a good leader; someone who is willing and ready to let another take over. This attitude of Moses is the same characteristic attitude he invites both the Israelites and Joshua to embrace as they move forward, "be brave and steadfast; have no fear or dread of them, for it is the LORD, your God, who marches with you; he will never fail you or forsake you."
This is quite the gift that Moses is leaving with the people. He is the brave and steadfast one who entrust everything to God's providential leadership.
Too often in society, we have men and women alike who hang on to leadership roles too long. They refuse to recognize the good leadership qualities in others and turn over the reins. This usually leads to disgruntle followers and leaders alike.
Moses identifies that is was his time to take a step back in order for god to continue to move his people forward.
We should all pray for that gift.
In the gospel we hear these familiar words, '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."
Children seem to be the one common teaching tool through out Jesus' ministry. Of all the examples and analogies and symbols that he incorporates in his teaching pedagogy, it is the use of children that reverberates with all of us. We are all aware of children. We see them. We interact with them. We are around them. How often is God speaking to us through them on a regularly basis, if only we listen attentively.
"I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father." What a beautiful image to ponder. What a beautiful reality to embrace. Each child has an angel looking upon the face of the Father in heaven as their way of watching out for them. God is always in tuned with the child. They are forever in his sight, beneath his loving gaze.
We too are children. We too are little ones. We too live beneath the loving gaze of the Father who is attentive to us and our needs.
What makes a child unique to be classified as the greatest in the Kingdom? Several things come to mind:dependence, curiosity, open to learning, and among other things an absence of false pretense.
This last one is important for us who are adults. With children what you see is what you get. Oh how i wish it were so with adults. Too many false pretenses cloud our ability to love and be loved.
Lastly, Jesus reminds us that our duty is to always be on the look out for those who have gone astray. We should seek out those who have left the values of the kingdom and gone astray. Not that we are judgmental but always inviting and offering them to taste and see the goodness of the Lord.