25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B
Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name, welcomes me
O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law
upon love of you and of our neighbour,
grant that, by keeping your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
Our readings this week explore what it means to live by the wisdom of God, where we recognise Christ Jesus not in ambition and worldly status, but rather in the helplessness of a little child.
In the First Reading from Wisdom, the ‘godless’ ones who live only for themselves yearn to be rid of those who live by truth and goodness. The virtuous are an unwelcome challenge to the wicked, whose cruel words recall the taunts Jesus himself suffered on the cross.
The Psalm reflects the confidence of one who calls on the Lord with great trust, whatever insults or difficulties they face.
In the Second Reading, James speaks of ‘the wisdom that comes from above’, which shows itself in peace-making and compassion, rather than in the jealousy and ambition that so often fill the human heart. We are reminded how important it is to counter our own self-seeking desires through prayer.
In the Gospel, Jesus takes a little child in his arms, reminding the disciples that loving service has nothing to do with the kind of worldly ‘greatness’ they’ve just been arguing about, but rather with humility and powerlessness. Christ invites us, too, to put our own needs last, welcoming him in those who may outwardly have nothing to offer.
This week, let’s ask for the wisdom to see Christ more clearly in all the ‘little ones’ we encounter, praying that in this way we might love him more dearly, and follow him more nearly, day by day.