True greatness

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul
Tuesday, Memorial of St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus, 13 August 2019
Deuteronomy 31:1-8 >< )))*> <*((( >< Matthew 18:1-5. 10. 12-14
Photo by Jim Marpa, 2018.

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.”

Matthew 18:1-4

I must confess to you, O Lord Jesus Christ, that so often I act and think like your disciples, asking you “who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?”

And it is not really to know who that person is or what kind of a person is that.

It is more about me – I want to be the greatest and be looked up to. Or, be affirmed and accepted. Especially by you.

When you called that child, you showed me how you have remained a Son of the Father, always humble and open to instructions from the Father above. Most of all, obedient to the Father’s will.

True greatness indeed is in becoming like a child, always young and willing to learn new things, raring to go and follow those above for new adventures in life like Moses and Joshua in the first reading and, St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus whose martyrdom we celebrate today.

As I prayed on that scene at Jordan where the Israelites prepared to enter the Promised Land, the imagery of Moses and Joshua came to me like children ready to take on new tasks and directions in their lives from God as Father.

The same imagery of little children submitting themselves to you, O Lord, despite their old age I have found in St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus who were both greatly at odds with each other at the beginning.

St. Pontian and St. Hippolytus. From Google.

As Pope, St. Pontian was lenient in readmitting Christians who have turned away from the faith during persecution; St. Hippolytus strongly opposed it that later he broke away from Rome to become an anti-pope as he refused to relax his rigid views of the faith.

But you found ways of bringing them together, Lord, as exiles at the island of Sardinia.

In the midst of harsh labor, the fatherly St. Pontian was able to bring back into the Church the rigorist St. Hippolytus.

Help us to keep in mind, Lord, that age is just a number, that we are forever young like children when we humbly abandon ourselves to you, holding on to these words by Moses:

It is the Lord who marches before you; he will be with you and will never fail you or forsake you. So do not fear or be dismayed.

Deuteronomy 31:8

Let me remain as your faithful and trusting child, O loving God our Father. Amen.

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