At one point in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus referred to certain characteristics of a child that should be emulated by those who aspired to enter the kingdom or reign of God. To become the “model citizens” of this kingdom, Jesus, however, did not exactly mean that His followers should be docile, meek and innocent, just as children are. In fact, Jesus was referring to the traits of a child who, devoid of any possessions or title, becomes accepting, obedient, and dependent to what is given to him/her – most especially the gift of the Kingdom of God.
Category: Spiritual Reflection
Proclaiming the Gospel message is not as simple as picking up a Bible, reading it aloud, and preaching it to those who want to listen. It also entails a change of heart, a radical transformation from the old ways to a newness in Christ. Such power to transform, however, only comes if we allow the Word of our Lord, despite its radical demands, to touch and permeate through our very souls.
“None of you can be My disciple unless you give up everything you have,” says Jesus (Luke 14:33). What does it mean to give up everything? Is it to be understood literally or only symbolically? The call is universal but it is answered differently. It is a call
to greater freedom or detachment – from goods and people.
The missionary of the Third Millennium must be a contemplative. This is especially true in the Asian context because of the Eastern tradition of Yoga and Zen. Yet, Christian contemplation is essentially different because it is always a personal encounter with the personal God of the Bible and Jesus is the way to God in the Holy Spirit. It is in contemplation that prayer becomes love.
Jesus’ teachings were indeed considered radical during His time, especially by those who wanted to silence Him or put Him to death. However, His teachings were also a source of confusion among His closest disciples who, at one point of their journey, were thrilled by Jesus’ miracles, but then confounded by His prediction of His death during the next. Again, Jesus offers the image of a child to explain His point, especially those who desire to be first in God’s kingdom.