‘Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me.’
Our readings this Sunday speak about wisdom, but from different perspectives.
We can see the First Reading as a prophecy of the Lord’s Passion, where the ‘godless’ regard with contempt those who listen to and follow God’s voice, condemning them to cruel death.
The Psalm also speaks of those who have no regard for God. Seeking God’s protection from surrounding threats, the psalmist prays with certainty: ‘I have God for my help. The Lord upholds my life.’
The Second Reading points out that jealousy and ambition cause division and rivalry, in contrast to the wisdom that comes from above. Such wisdom, which desires humility and not glory, brings us to peace with ourselves and can be attained through prayer. It is ‘essentially something pure … is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good.’
Jesus predicts his own death and resurrection to the disciples, who fail to understand what this means (Gospel). They have been arguing which of them is the greatest, but Jesus teaches them that true greatness lies in being the servant or slave of all, especially the weak and the helpless, symbolized by the child he embraces and places in their midst. By welcoming and serving the ‘little children’ we are welcoming God.
Let’s ask this week for the wisdom to see Christ in all the ‘little children’ we encounter, and pray for a spirit of humility and peace.