NEH 2: 1-8, PS 137: 1-6, MT 18: 1-5, 10
Have you ever been so sad that it showed on your facial expression? Nehemia, wine steward to the king, was so sad for the loss and destruction of Jerusalem that it showed. When the king asked him why he was so sad he told him. The king understood and actually made arrangements for Nehemia to go and work in the rebuilding of Jerusalem. We have a King whose love and power surpasses understanding. We can tell Him of our sorrows and losses and fears in the absolute faith that He is always with us in whatever we may need.
In the gospel just two days ago we heard Jesus ask that a little child be brought to Him and He said “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” LK 9: 48.
In today’s gospel Jesus calls a little child to Him and says: “Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” LK 18: 4-5.
There is so much for us to learn from three simple sentences uttered by the one who walked the walk as no one did or could. To strive to be humble like a little child, especially in our “me first” society can be very darned hard. But, we have the example of Jesus who was born in poverty, lived in poverty, poured himself out to and for the least ranked in His society, washed His disciple’ feet, and died in agony so that all of His brothers and sisters for all time past present and future could be saved and taken into His kingdom.
Let us pray that however we read and understand today’s readings their message will strengthen our faith and hope and carry us through whatever comes.