See that you do not despise one of these little ones

Published August 9, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Manila Bulletin


Gospel • Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14
In posing the disciples’ question, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?” Matthew invites the readers to pay attention to community relations, where everyone is deemed equal to others in the eyes of God. The child is presented as a figure of a disciple who must be accorded with equal dignity, more than one possessing qualities of innocence, dependence, and simplicity. In a highly hierarchical Jewish society, the children were considered less in status, without legal authority and claims. But, in the eyes of God, everyone is important.

Jesus instructs his listeners to confer proper treatment to his disciples, to take care of the “little ones” and “the least.”

Using the image of the shepherd and the lost sheep, Jesus gives a stern warning not to scandalize “the little ones” who believe in him, because these “children” are under God’s protection and care. This call is intended for the leaders to call back the “lost sheep” or members who had left because of the scandals and stumbling blocks within the community. It is important to preserve the integrity and welfare of
the community while maintaining a reconciliatory attitude in conflict situations.

Source: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” St. Pauls, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-
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