Childlike Simplicity: Weekly Message for 12-01-2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

The Gospel passage at Mass on the first Tuesday of Advent recalls Jesus’ rejoicing that his Father chose to reveal certain things to the childlike but not to the wise and learned.

There was always something unsettling yet reassuring about those words. 

On the one hand, Our Lord is warning that we shouldn’t think we are self-sufficient because of our own intelligence. 

On the other hand, those words confirm something that many of us have experienced: how children can blurt out a truism that adults are too cowed to recognize. “The emperor has no clothes!”

Grasp of the truth isn’t limited to the little ones, fortunately. It’s something that can be grasped by the childlike: those whose thinking is unspoiled by doublespeak and political correctness, those open to reality as it is.

This is part of Jesus’ message. He wants us to witness to the truth in the wide sense. This includes witnessing to the truth about God’s plan for marriage and family life, and the value of every human being.

In our day the very act of speaking up for the truth can be costly. Just ask people who dare to express particular opinions on certain college campuses. They know too well the price of speaking up in front of “the wise and learned.”

With the coming into the world of the Word-made-flesh, God would speak his fullest message of truth to us. That truth is what the Church guards and passes on to each generation. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (John 1:5).

To prepare yourself for the coming light of the Christ Child, you might find one of our Advent Retreat Guides helpful. 

Closeness to Our Lord will keep us childlike – and simplehearted enough to witness to the truth.

In Christ,

Father Edward McIlmail, LC
Ask a Priest contributor

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