Thought for the Day – 19 September – Meditations with Antonio Cardinal Bacci (1881-1971)
“Unless You Turn and Become
Like Little Children,
You Will Not Enter into
the Kingdom of Heaven”
“At the beginning of their ministry, before they had been strengthened and enlightened by the Holy Spirit, the Apostles were as ambitious as most other men.
One day, the mother of John and James, the sons of Zebedee, came to Jesus and asked Him, if her two sons could have precedence over the other Apostles and sit on the highest thrones in His kingdom, one at His right hand and the other at His left.
Jesus disapproved of this desire to predominate. “Whoever wishes to become great among you,” He said, “shall be your servant and, whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; even as the Son of Man has not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mt 20:26-28).
On another occasion, the Apostles came to Jesus and asked Him, which of them would be the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.
Jesus’ only answer was to call a little child and to place him in the centre of the group.
“Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whoever, therefore, humbles himself as this little child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3-4).
This is the lofty teaching of the Gospel.
If we wish to be great and pleasing in the eyes of God, we must be unimportant in our own regard and in our relations with men.
The Gospel involves an overthrow of human values.
Anyone who makes himself insignificant, will become great.
Anyone who tries to make himself out to be a great man, becomes of little account in the eyes of God.
“God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Cf Js 4:6; 1 Peter 5:5).
If we wish to please the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the first thing we must do, is become as little children.
In other words, we shall have to suppress our ambition and vanity and destroy our self-love, so that, the Sacred Heart may fill our hearts with the love of God alone!”