Meditation for the Day

Monday of the Twenty-sixth Week in Ordinary Time, September 28

Are We Childlike Enough to Trust God Completely and Unconditionally with All Whom We Love, with All That We Possess?

“Whoever receives this child in my name receives me…” – a teaching from our Lord in today’s Gospel which speaks to us of the mind of God as to how we are to live our lives of faith.

Humility, a topic about which I have written many times – a virtue great in the eyes of Almighty God, but a concept which is oftentimes difficult to live or rejected by human beings, especially in a culture which prides itself on self-gratification and personal gain, oftentimes at the expense of others who are less fortunate.

Today, we are given a glimpse of humanity which is far from its best. “An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.” Ego, feelings of self-importance, pride – these are all elements which reside in the heart of every human being.

What makes the Gospel Readings pertinent to our daily lives some two thousand years later? We can see a part of ourselves in the very humanity of the Apostles.

True humility is a virtue which is pure and selfless in thought, word and deed – and which enables us, through the grace of God, to avoid ambition and pride. And true humility helps detach us from those worldly elements which tend to separate us from His Love.

Humility becomes the foundation for our prayer life, for we freely acknowledge that we need God’s help in our strivings to be a holier and more virtuous people. Humility helps us to empty from ourselves our own ego, our own pride, our own selfishness.

And it is this form of humility which fosters a deeper relationship of love between ourselves and the God who loves us – the God who opens His Heart to us.

And it is the example of the child in today’s Gospel which allows us to identify and to embrace this concept and ideal of humility. For the child, in his innocence and his willing obedience to what is being taught, is not puffed up with worldly pride or ambition.

With a childlike heart, one learns to trust and to love selflessly. The childlike heart has not been tempted by ambitious desires, and has not been seduced by pride and feelings of self-righteousness.

As I had written in a previous meditation, most people in today’s secular culture tend to pride themselves on the accomplishments which they have achieved, especially in a world or in a society where personal survival or success oftentimes depends upon one’s ability to overcome the odds, where survival oftentimes is dependent upon one’s ability to not only meet but to even outclass the competition.

In the culture in which we live today, wealth and success become not only a goal, but even a “god” of sorts for many who constantly strive to be the best in whatever endeavor they might choose to pursue. And this earthly, unbridled pursuit of being successful, which may even involve the cost of one’s own soul, conflicts with everything our Lord is teaching us today.

We find that, within the hearts of small children, there is no greed, no lust, no discrimination, no sin. Within the hearts of small children, we find only a purity of heart which is filled with innocence and honesty, love and an unquestioning trust – a true and wondrous joy to behold!

When we open our hearts to each other, as an innocent child reaching out to another, then our Lord’s words, in today’s Gospel, teach us about the mind of God Himself, “Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

Becoming childlike in the way we live our daily lives, casting aside worldly values, being filled with and living the virtue of humility – these are all values which we find in our First Reading today from the Book of Job. For the next few days, we will be reading about Job and his search for a deeper understanding of the Divine Providence of Almighty God, and the place that suffering has in our lives.

And, after Job has been stripped of everything which has value in his life, both emotional and physical, how does he respond?

“Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back again. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!” – words of pain, most definitely! But also, words of humility and a true surrendering of his will to the will of God.

Would we be able to respond the same way if everyone we loved, if everything we possessed, were suddenly stripped away from us? It is a question which forces us to look at the depth of our own relationship with the God who loves us beyond all understanding, and whom we are called to love with all our heart and soul, mind and strength.

Are we childlike enough to trust God completely and unconditionally with all whom we love, with all that we possess? God asks each one of us to do just that – trust Him completely, trust in His Divine Providence for each one of us, no matter what!

Let us take with us today the words of Saint Padre Pio which have helped many to live their faith with a greater openness and a much deeper conviction –

“Pray, hope, and don’t worry. Worry is useless. God is merciful and will hear your prayer.”

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Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.

Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.

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Scripture for the Day

  • “Jesus realized the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed it by his side and said to them, ‘Whoever receives this child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me. For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is the greatest.’(Luke 9:47-48)
  • “…Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)
  • “Job said, ‘Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back there. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD!’” (Job 1:21)
  • “For by the grace given to me I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than one ought to think, but to think soberly, each according to the measure of faith that God has apportioned.” (Romans 12:3)
  • “If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” (2 Corinthians 30)
  • “They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice.” (Zechariah 8:8b)
  • “…all of you, clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for: ‘God opposes the proud but bestows favor on the humble.’ So humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.” (1 Peter 5:5b-6)
  • “…learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves.” (Matthew 11:29)
  • “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12)
  • “Cast all your worries upon [God] because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7)

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Prayer for the Day

“Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that You may fortify me
with the grace of Your Holy Spirit,
and give Your peace to my soul,
that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry.

“Help me to desire always that
which is pleasing and acceptable to You,
so that Your will may be my will.

“Grant that I may be free from unholy desires,
and that, for Your Love, I may remain
obscure and unknown in this world,
to be known only to You.

“Do not permit me to attribute to myself
the good that you perform in me and through me,
but rather, referring all honor to You,
may I admit only to my infirmities.

“So that, renouncing sincerely all vainglory
which comes from the world,
I may aspire to that true and lasting glory
that comes only from You. Amen.”

Saint Frances Cabrini

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