Children feel strong thanks to the love of those who love them. ... They don’t put their trust in a career or a medal, but only in the love of those who love them.
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
“An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest.”
We might be scandalized that there would be this kind of talk among Jesus’ friends and disciples; if we are scandalized, it means we must not know human nature. It’s natural for us to feel the need to be recognized, to feel that someone looks at us in a special way, to think that our lives are worth the place we occupy. None of us is immune from these feelings, even when they’re well hidden in our lives.
However, Jesus has an antidote to this kind of attitude:
“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.’”
Only when we return to having the heart of a child do we occupy the closest place to Jesus. Only when we choose the way of littleness do we understand the way of greatness that Christ taught us.
Children feel strong thanks to the love of those who love them. This is what gratifies them and gives them a privileged position. They don’t put their trust in a career or a medal, but only in the love of those who love them.
This is what Christ asks of us: not to place our trust in anything other than the fact that he loves us. Those who feel loved do not go in search of anything else because they already have everything they need.
Therefore, we should reflect on this: Are we always restless because we’re never happy with where we are and what we’re doing? If so, the problem isn’t the place or the circumstances, but love. We feel this way because we don’t feel loved. Lord, give us this love that sets us free!
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.