Childlike Faith

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The WORD in other words (2023) by Fr Narciso Cellan SVD – University of San Carlos Cebu

Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

A story is told of a teenage boy who desperately wanted to receive a new pair of shoes on his 15th birthday. His birthday came with nobody giving him the gift he wanted. He was about to cry wolf and complain to his parents when he saw a much younger girl smiling at him while seated on a wheelchair. At first, he thought that the disabled girl had nothing to do with what he wanted for his birthday. He looked at her, and the girl waved happily at him. After trying to strike a conversation with her, he was stunned to realize that the girl was also deaf and mute. The boy forgot about his original birthday wish as he started wishing for something else – to smile the way the girl did. 

How do we characterize our faith in God? When things are not going our way, and our plans are turned upside down, what thoughts come to our mind, and how do we react? 

In today’s Gospel, Jesus underscored the importance of being childlike in faith – trusting, humble, discerning, and open. These might be very familiar words to us as we often talk about them. Yet, how much of being childlike has our faith become?

The end of the year 2021 was catastrophic to the victims of Typhoon Odette. With the pandemic still posing severe threats to health and wellbeing, the devastation caused by the typhoon added more misery to many people in the Visayas and some parts of Mindanao. Such upheaval can easily cause havoc to our faith in God and throw us off our spiritual path.

It is worth noting that after praising the childlike (for it is to them that hidden things are revealed), Jesus invited his listeners to come to him and find rest in him, for his yoke is easy and his burden light. Childlike faith is about total surrender to God, a radical trust in his providential care. Nothing can defeat a person who truly believes that God is in control of everything and shall in time reveal his plan and will for us. It is through childlike faith that our ‘Why, Lord?’ questions shall be turned into ‘You know better, Lord” declarations.

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