5 December
Lk 10:21-24

Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

Jesus was getting a taste of success.  The seventy whom he had sent out with no resources, “like lambs among wolves” (Luke 10:3), had just returned full of excitement, telling of their success.  His way of powerlessness was working.  “He cried out in joy and in great delight, as if attuning himself to the spirit of the little ones,” wrote Clement of Alexandria (150 – 215).  The things that were hidden from “the wise and the intelligent of this world” – hidden by their very wisdom and intelligence – were being made visible through these simple men, these “little ones.”  

We put great store by our intelligence, because the whole society puts great store by it.  A teacher told me that the most terrible thing you can say to a parent is that their child is unintelligent.  It is seen as a bigger disgrace than any kind of misbehaviour.  Not that we should be against intelligence – intelligence is one of God's gifts, and when it is allied to love it is an unstoppable force – but we must be aware that it can be used in the service of any instinct whatsoever: greed, hatred, cruelty….  It readily becomes an arm of the ego. 

The kind of mind we venerate is the adult mind: especially that of the scientist, the investigator, the barrister, the journalist.  These are logical, critical, suspicious, judgmental…. You can know a lot about theology with this kind of mind, but you cannot know God.  Every disciple needs to learn again to see like a child; we must be like children, Jesus said, if we are to enter the Kingdom of God – which means the Presence of God.  We have to become like children if we are to understand God's newest deed – which is a Child. 



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This page gives a very brief commentary by Donagh O’Shea on the gospel reading for each day of the month. 


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