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The Little Ones

August 10, 2020
August 11, 2020
PITIK-BULAG: The Little Ones
All of us want to be recognized and honored. This is part of our psycho-emotional needs. Yet, we cannot deny that our desire for honor and glory is a never-ending thirst. Satisfaction eludes us. We work so hard for praise and honor, even to the point of becoming a slave of it.
In our gospel today, the disciples sought the Lord’s wisdom to settle their argument about greatness. They were always competing to gain Jesus’ attention. So, they asked Jesus, “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” (John 18:1).
Full of love and gentleness, Jesus simply called a child to come over and placed him in their midst. He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (John 18:3).
Jesus wanted his disciple to understand that HUMILITY IS THE VIRTUE THEY SHOULD DESIRE. He did not ignore the disciples’ desire for greatness, but He wanted them TO SEEK GREATNESS IN GOD’S PERSPECTIVE, and not of men. Genuine greatness is achievable through humility in order to FULFILL GOD’S WILL TO BE THE SERVANT OF ALL, ESPECIALLY THE LITTLE ONES.
But Jesus’ lesson on greatness did not end there. He grabbed the opportunity to teach the disciples another lesson on greatness, aside from being humble. He introduced the idea of loving and defending the little ones as one big step to greatness. And when the Lord spoke of the littles ones, He was speaking of the poor people.
Like a powerless child that needs to be defended, the poor are the marginalized and powerless members of society. They are the least in our priorities and concerns. We seldom give importance to their needs, feelings, and struggles. They are nameless and nobody to society, but ironically, they occupy a big space in God’s heart. Jesus even identified HImself with the poor. He said, “Whoever welcomes one such little ones in my name welcomes me.” (John 18:5).
Consider the following points in your prayer. Here is the road to greatness in God’s eyes.
1. Humility matters.
The Lord gives premium importance to humility as the key to greatness. Humility is not the end, it’s the means to genuine greatness. It disposes us to set aside our selfish desire and seek God’s will. Jesus invites us to learn from the child, especially his total submission and trust to his parents.
2. Protect the Poor
Jesus said, “Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven, their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. What do you think? (John 18:10-12).
Jesus is inviting us to protect the poor from the scandals and abuse of men. He wants us to prioritize the poor in our ministry and planning. From the past to the present age, the poor are always marginalized, ignored, and abused. They are the usual victims of injustices, harassment, and violence. Thus, the Lord wants us to be the champion of the poor. To be identified with the poor is to be identified with Jesus.
3. Search the Poor
“If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine in the hills and go in search of the stray? And if he finds it, amen, I say to you, he rejoices more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not stray. In just the same way, it is not the will of your heavenly Father that one of these little ones be lost.” (John 18: 12-14).
Who are the poor in your midst? Are you genuinely searching for their needs? Do you listen to the poor? Have you offered your friendship to them? Are you identified with them?
Loving the marginalized, oppressed, and abused is not easy. Thus, we need a humble heart to embrace this difficult yet rewarding call. Loving the poor is not a walk in the park, but the reward is eternal.
– Pitik-Bulag
August 11, 2020 – Tuesday
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14

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