To Think Like a Child… 12

Just another Sunday Gospel reflection…

Okay.. Remember what I was saying about memes the other day? Scratch that (partially). Baby memes are still cool!

You know, when I make it to heaven (God willing), I don’t think it will be just Saint Peter waiting for me at the pearly gates. I expect I’ll have this awkward confrontation with the other 11 Apostles and Paul and I’ll probably have a lot of explaining to do. I imagine it will sound something like this:

  • Saint James: So, your… Stone. You know, some of that stuff you wrote about me, it shows up in my twitter feed.
  • J. Stone: Twitter? We still get to tweet up here?
  • Saint James: Yeah, Dr. Stone, but not so fast… What’s this about my “impetuous and ambitious nature?”
  • J. Stone: Please, you don’t have to call me D…
  • Saint James: Right, Doc. I’m not done… “sleeping on the job,” “being manipulative and cunning,” “hitting the highway when Jesus was betrayed…” You wanna explain that to me?
  • J. Stone: Did I say that? I think someone misquoted me on the sleeping thing, but that’s in the Gospel…
  • Saint James: Gospel. Right. My friend Matthew here, he wrote one of those Gospels. Matthew, you wanna take it from here?
  • Saint Matthew: Hello, Mr. Missing Point. What can an evangelist like me say to an apologist philosopher like you about my… how did you put it? Oh, Yes: My “confused inner world.”
  • J. Stone: Um… Is Jesus around?… Mary?… God? Can I just talk to God, please?

And then there will be Jonah, and Job, and probably someone else I won’t be prepared to stand up to, like, I don’t know… Lazarus or someone like that. I will have my share of explaining to do and I will have my share of humble pie.

But really you can’t blame me. I’m just taking what I read in the Gospel and telling it like I see it. You have to admit, the Apostles gave us a pretty shoddy example sometimes.

For instance, in today’s Gospel reading, Jesus warns the Apostles: “Dearly beloved friends, you need to prepare yourselves. I said it before and now I am telling you again: The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death the Son of Man will rise.”

The next thing you know the Apostles are bickering and boasting, manifesting all sorts of oneupmanship, acting like…

Acting just like we act sometimes. And that’s always the point. Our Lord’s patient rebuke to his Apostles always serves as a kind reminder for us:

Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, “Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”

I am sure these words of Christ leave most of you wondering, as it leaves me wondering, as it probably left the Apostles wondering too. Placing a child in front of them as an example, Jesus sends more than a message; he dumbfounds the Apostles. Because children have an uncanny way of stifling with their simplicity. Here is a beautiful example of what I mean: “Becoming like a Child,” which I read today on 8 Kids and a Business.

It makes you think. To be a child again — what would that be like? A lot of good it would do us to meditate on that message of simplicity Christ places before us.

12 comments

  1. First, there’s this kinda unflattering meme about doctors that every single nurse can relate to, but you’re not that kind of doc, so it’s all good ;) Second, thanks for the link. I think I’m blushing! Most importantly, it’s good to see the apostles bickering because it shows that, as you said, they’re just like us. That’s hopeful because eventually they understood Christ’s simple message…if they can do it, we can do it. Blessed Sunday to you, Doc Stone!

    • I believe that “hope” is the word, i.e., the theological virtue of hope. Christ gave us the gift of hope for this reason. We need to keep our chins up and trust, believing that with Him we can do all things and we can overcome all things, for him. He did it for us first, and that is our strength. We can see the visible first fruits in the transformation of the Apostles into… Apostles. That means there is hope for us too! Thanks again for your story on 8-Kids yesterday. I think a lot of people will find a lot of joy in reading it.

  2. You really got me thinking about the process of atonement after dying, and whom I may well see and speak with on the way (if God wills it) to the Pearly Gates. As usual I read you posts with a smile on my lips and a good dose of reflection and wonder.

    Thank you. In Jesus.

    • You comment got me thinking that there is a lot of sense in our Church’s teaching on purgatory (which is not exactly what I meant to convey in my imaginary dialogue, but looking back on it, I suppose something of that nature did across). I’m no expert on purgatory and I have no idea what it might be like, but justice for our souls and the atonement that God allows after death is like medicine, in a way. It seems to make sense that a little more humbling, perhaps, after our life in this world is over will purify us for the glorious vision and eternal embrace with our creator in the life to come. Always a mystery.

      Thanks for your comment. God bless you & Happy Sunday!

  3. Was not 8 kids a most humbling post? You are so right Biltrix, regarding the “humbling pie” most of us will eat in heaven. Proverbs tells us, “God ponders the ways of man.” I think about that at times, and I know He must be up there looking at Jesus, the Saints and the Angels saying, “Let’s go down there and get her out of this mess she just made for herself!” How well we would do to keep it all within the scope of the “simplicity of a child.” Great post and God Bless, SR

    • The messes we make for ourselves!!! It makes me think of the time Peter said, “Of course, Jesus pays the temple tax,” and the way in which Jesus, having already pondered the conversation that would take place afterword, gave Peter his penance — the thoughtful retribution of our Lord! Always gentle. Always just what we need, when we need it. And it always makes us think further for the next phase in this adventure we find ourselves in with Him. Thank you for your thoughts and God bless you, SR!

  4. Jesus says, “Verily I say unto you, Except you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Children are naive and innocent. They do not harbor hatred. Their little hearts are pure, and their hands are clean.

    Thanks so much for sharing another thought provoking post Biltrix. God blesses.

    • Those are tough years when they are coming into their own. It takes a noble person to guide them, or as you imply, teach them to guide themselves based on the moral foundations they already have. I’m sure you are a great teacher, Carl.

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