Childish and Childlike

15th WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
Mt. 11:25-27

When I got my regular position in my first job (actually my first, last and the only job I had for 7 years), I became the youngest among the group. Being the youngest, my immediate superior would always say openly that I was her favorite. Besides of being hardworking, she liked me because it was very easy for her to give instructions and I easily obey. But one thing she frankly have said several times, that I am childish. I was silly and immature in my actuation. I was playful and not so serious in matters I was expected to consider at my age.

Jesus on the other hand pointed out that being childlike is the requirement in order for one to understand and be revealed the mysteries of God. Childish and childlike are both characteristics of a child but the first points to unfavorable qualities while the latter generally refers to the more positive or favorable qualities. Though there are various positive traits of a child, I will name three that starts with letter T.

Teachable or trainable. Honestly, I wished to have a child because I have many things in mind that I want to teach to him. A child is very easy to be taught because he acknowledges that he knows little or nothing at all. My problem oftentimes is the opposite, because of being so proud that I know much, that I know better than anyone else especially in the field of my specialization. As a result, unknowingly, I close my mind to God’s truth and wisdom. My challenge is to be humble, to listen. As the desiderata would say: “Listen, even to the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story.”

Trustful. I can imagine a child playing with his father. His father throws the child up in the air and the child does not fear, because he knows that his Father will catch him. I am invited to have that trust in God even if the future seems so blurry especially in this time of pandemic, even if I really do not know what will be the life awaiting there for me after my seminary formation. I shall not fear to which community I will be sent, what ministry I have to undertake. I will trust God because like the child, he will never allow me to fall, he wants me to be happy.

Truthful. I remember a time when I visited a friend. Her daughter told me: “Why is your face so ugly, it is full of acne?” A child speaks the truth. A child does not lie. The second antiphon of our Lauds tells us: “Blessed is the upright man, who speaks the truth.” This is again an invitation for me, first to be truthful about myself, like Fr. Rey discussed to us about the Johari window, to learn move the barrier forward in order to have a greater area of the revealed self. Second, to be courageous in proclaiming the truths about Jesus Christ, not only in words of preaching but that the truths about our Lord take their flesh in me—gentleness in my action, prudence in my speech, kindness in my dealings with others, patience, and the likes.

We learn from our Lord. We learn from Mary who welcomed the Word with a child-like attitude It seems difficult but the grace of God abounds and will take its roots to the child-like.

By: Br. Eddienel G. Villa, SSS

Prior entering the seminary, Br. Eds is a Chemist from San Miguel Corp. Now, he is a third year theology student at San Carlos Seminary. He is a Brother from the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.

*photo from preachit.org

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