“Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of God?” The disciples of Jesus asked him this question. How beautiful it is to know that the model of greatness for Jesus is the one who humbles himself like a child. His response implies that everyone is equal and important in the eyes of God.
When I was still working, I experienced receiving negative comments. When this happens, I just let these harsh words pass through one ear to the other. I must admit that I was hurt. However, I always remember that it is not an excuse not to do good to others. This experience serves as a reminder to treat others the way I want to be treated. I must be sensitive to their feelings; therefore, I must be more discerning with the content and manner I give feedback. I always hope that my words will inspire them to change and not make them feel bad about themselves.
We often equate greatness with power and authority. We see ourselves as inferior to those who have high societal status. However, in today’s Gospel, Jesus leaves us a reminder that no one is above another. He has given us, whoever we are, the same dignity. We have no right to be proud before God and belittle our neighbors. It is through humility and meekness of heart that we reveal real greatness in ourselves.
The Lord challenges me, as a priest-in-process, to oversee the “little ones”—the least, the lost, and the last. God entrusted me to be steward of my neighbor. Thus, I have the responsibility to bring Christ to their midst. There will be times when we might be overwhelmed and lost in life’s challenges, but as soon as we are reminded of how God loves us, we ourselves will find our way back home to Him.
By: Sem. Bryan S. Valenzuela
Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
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 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.
“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.
What is your opinion?
If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray,
will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills
and go in search of the stray?
And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it
than over the ninety-nine that did not stray.
In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father
that one of these little ones be lost.”