The image of a child can be a model to explain the real meaning of greatness. In the Gospel, Jesus challenges His disciples to humble themselves like a child. He also warns them to be careful in treating those little ones.
I used to think that being great means having extraordinary talents and skills, or having a lot of money and properties, or being respected and known in society, or having power and authority toward others. To my mind, it usually includes competition, pride, and self-centeredness. Further, I thought greatness means dominating, excelling, controlling, and enslaving others.
As I contemplate the Gospel, it shifted my view on what it means to be great. I am being challenged by the Gospel to humble myself like a child. I must be mindful of my reliance on God’s grace as well as my insignificance without Him. I recognize that being great entails selfless service to others, and that power and influence exist to serve the greater good.
Without humility, the fullness of grace cannot penetrate oneself. Humility is required to receive more from God and to give more to others. It is modeled after Jesus, who during His earthly life, humbled Himself by serving others. Those who humble themselves like a child will find true glory and greatness.
By: Sem. Jose A. Cordova Jr.
Mt 18:1-5, 10
The disciples approached Jesus and said,
“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”
He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said,
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children,
you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.
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.
“See that you do not despise one of these little ones,
for I say to you that their angels in heaven
always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”