2nd Sunday of Abib – Children and the Kingdom of Heaven

jesuswithchildreninheaven.gifAt this hour the disciples approached Jesus saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heave?" (Matt. 18:1). Then Jesus brought before Him a young boy and placed him in the center and said, "Assuredly,
I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children,
you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3). He who is pure and innocent like this child is greater in the Kingdom of Heaven.

The childhood path

we find that our Master Jesus places, before His disciples, the
childhood condition to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, saying, "Assuredly,
I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children,
you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:3).
One of the early fathers commented about what our Master Jesus meant by
these words, saying ‘If you are not going to greatly grow in the
spirit, and become like children, then you will not enter the Kingdom
of Heaven.’ Therefore, the path to the Kingdom is very easy for those
who are children in spirit. But it is extremely difficult for those who
lost the childhood simplicity.

But what is the path to take to return to the childhood?

don’t have to get rid of all the characteristics of manhood to change
and be like children. But we have to discard the sins that accumulated
during the years. The evil experiences that were acquired by us,
through life, and defiled our interior… Therefore, the exertion to walk
in the path to childhood is, a passive endeavor not a possessive one. "That
you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows
corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit
of your mind.” (Eph. 4:22, 23). This is achieved with repentance,
being sorry every day, leaving the old experiences and placing the
confessions before the priest as a true sign of repentance and honesty
of intention. Also, this will be as a divine seal for the promises of a
new life in Jesus.

Children in evil

return to childhood means growing in spirit, to advance in holiness and
to cleanse our conscious from every form of defile… That means that we
become like children keeping our distance away from evil. But according
to the mind, conscious, thoughts and duties, we should be complete. As
one of our early fathers said, ‘Be children in evil, but in your mind
be complete.’

If we don’t have the faith like children

of these conditions are to place our trust in God, believe in Him and
give Him our heart. We should hold before us every word in the Bible
without doubt or question. We should be like children looking up to his
father, intrusting every word to its extent. If we don’t have the faith
of a child, when we stand before God, and when we seek His face, then
we will not enter the kingdom of heave… The purity of the faith in the
children is truly amazing. The affirmation of the children exceeds the
imagination. But how can we return and become like children? After we
become saturated with all thoughts, which blocked from us the effects
of faith, and we started examining everything with our minds, which we
deprived from the simplicity of the children’s faith… For our minds,
during manhood, don’t accept the walking on water, the displacement of
the mountains, the raising
of the dead or the calming of the winds…though the faith is not of a
lesser value than the laws of nature. Everything is possible for the
believer. Saying this brings us closer to return to the childhood’s
faith. This is achieved by having man subdue, with all his heart and
with all his self, to God. Not by means of mind and logic, but with
obedience and love from the heart, as a personal acknowledgement of God
and absolute rejection of all human knowledge. We should learn from the
lives of our fathers the saints, who completed their faith and how they
lived like children? They absolutely trusted in the everlasting life,
in the love of God and in the settings and will of the Divine.

If we didn’t have the purity of the children

we, once more, return and become like children in their purity… It is
said, for the purity of our first nature and our unblemished childhood,
be so lost. How was man so innocent in his childhood, his view, his
talk, his heart and his thoughts? How sad man becomes when he remembers
the purity of his childhood? Do we have to return to the pinnacle of
childhood purity and its principals? It was said about the heaven, that
nothing defile or impure enters in it… The pure children in heaven,
dressed in white garments, they washed their garments and brightened
them in Jesus’ blood, He who was sacrificed for us… The purity might be
impossible for many, but everything is possible by Him… For the blood
of Jesus purifies us from every sin. Everyday, our return is a change
in our looks. It is the renewal of our minds, with prayers, and our
absolute rejections of all defile appearances, and to lay down our
defile experiences at the feet of our Lord Jesus. That is how the
sinful women did. She poured her tears, along with her sins, and wiped
His feet with her hair. So she deserved to return, with a peaceful
heart, to childhood without a sin, "Go in peace." (Luke 7:50).

If we don’t posses to surrender like children

child is full of life while he is in his father’s bosom… The child
finds his peace in his father’s hand, it is an amazing thing, no man
can describe it. Our Master Jesus wants us as children to absolutely
surrender to the Father, without fear, concern, worry of the future or
being scared of the circumstances. All of these matters and others
reveal that our surrender of our life didn’t reach the pinnacle of
childhood, which is for the Father as Isaac surrendered himself to be a
sacrificial lamb.

If we don’t have the children’s humility

who humiliates himself like a child will be greatest in the kingdom of
heaven. One of the main features of childhood is not inflating the
human self… The child doesn’t know the glory of being above everyone
else. He is not concerned about himself, and he is not precious in his
mind. He doesn’t know the meaning of hurting the honor or an insult.
The child, if he is insulted he forgives, if he was attacked, he
doesn’t confront. The child doesn’t know the scales of the false glory,
created by man. For a child, a big castle is no different than a simple
shack. The king’s son, as a child, doesn’t differentiate between
himself and the other children, for he deals with simplicity and in
honesty, without pride. Jesus needs us as children in humility. He
wants us to remove the false glory, the killer that exhibits insolence
and arrogance, which makes us fall and then subdue us. He wants us as
children in our feeling for the need of God. Like a small child who
always runs to his father for protection.

If we don’t return and be as children

else could we say, do we need more time to account for all the
childhood characteristics. We have to seek purity of heart, sincerity
of prayer and essence of hope.

of all we talk about a list concerning childhood’s love, which bears
everything, believes everything, and is patient for everything. This is
the condition required to enjoy the kingdom. O brethren let us,
everyday seek the childhood’s path to return to our first status. For
the first sign which was given to us to know Jesus was, “You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”
(Luke 2:12). In this manner the Lord has revealed for us the path to
the kingdom, in a manger, it was where the capabilities, came forth
from a small child.

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