DAILY GOSPEL COMMENTARY: “NO ONE KNOWS THE FATHER EXCEPT THE SON” (Mt 11:25-27).
Gospel of Wednesday, 15th week in Ordinary Time
At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike. Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”
Gospel Commentary from the Navarre Bible, Commentary to the Gospel of St. Matthew (with permission).
- 25-26 The wise and understanding of this world, that is, those who rely on their own judgment, cannot accept the revelation which Christ has brought us.
- Supernatural outlook is always connected with humility. A humble person, who gives himself little importance, sees; a person who is full of self-esteem fails to perceive supernatural things.
- 27 Here Jesus formally reveals his divinity.
- Our knowledge of a person shows our intimacy with him, according to the principle given by St Paul: “For what person knows a man’s thoughts except the spirit of the man which is in him?” (1 Cor 2:11).
- The Son knows the Father by the same knowledge as that by which the Father knows the Son. This identity of knowledge implies oneness of nature; that is to say, Jesus is God just as the Father is God.
TOPIC: DO YOU FEEL FREEDOM AND PEACE AS YOU PRAY?
In today’s first reading, Moses was tending the sheep of his father-in-law, Jethro on the mountain of Horeb. A bush suddenly catches fire and God calls out Moses. The startled Moses is astonished at the bush that suddenly lights up and never burns out. In verses omitted for today, God calls him and tells him to lead His people out of Egypt into the land flowing with milk and honey. And God utters words that reassure: “I will be with you.”
God tells Moses to take off his sandals “for the place where you stand is holy ground.”
TOPIC 2: Are you childish or childlike
The Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen once told this story of a boy who just came home from a catechism class.
His father, who was an atheist, always prodded him and asked this little boy often to defend his faith, one that his mother had instilled deeply in him. On this day, the father asked his son, “So what did you learn today in catechism?” The boy answered, “Well, I learned that God is our Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all equal to each other.” “No, that is not possible,” the father said. “A father and a son cannot be equal to each other because a father is greater than his son. I have lived much longer than you, haven’t I?” And his son said, “But you didn’t become a father until I became a son.”
Today’s gospel shows Jesus praising His father for revealing to those who are childlike what remains hidden to the learned. Our lives may be spent trying to unravel the mysteries of God, but to the child, it is a matter of faith. We must rid ourselves of our childishness and remain childlike.
Paul in his letter to the Corinthians says, “put an end to your childishness.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) Marge Fenelon, an award-winning Catholic author on Marian devotion and Catholic family life distinguishes between childishness and childlikeness: People who are childish are immature, demand their own way, have little or no self-control, can only see things from their own selfish or overly-defensive perspective, and lack rational judgment.
We all have childish people in our lives and, I hope, can sense when we ourselves are being childish and alter our behavior. People who are childlike are mature yet uncomplicated, able to exercise self-control, compromise and find reasonable solutions, consider the other’s point of view, and are capable of rational judgment and responsible decisions. Spiritually speaking, childish people make demands on God, are convinced they know better than he does, and consistently rebel against his will.
Childlike people see God as Father, are willing to follow his will, and trust in his wisdom. They realize their “smallness” before God and have an uncomplicated faith in him. In Matthew 18:1-5, Jesus warns us that, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” The technological advancements of today has propagated a more complex lifestyle bordering on competition, individualism and materialism that robs us of a childlike faith in God.
People have drifted far from God and submerged themselves in and wallowed in their own personal miseries, leading them to a life of constant fear. This fear has spawned increasing levels of anxiety and depression leading to higher rates of suicide. We need our childlike faith in God again. When we begin to have anxiety attacks as we face an unknown future, or when we have deep depression as we continue to stay in our past and dwell on its hurting memories, we need to pray for the grace from the Holy Spirit to lead us back to God.
For God assures us: “My grace is sufficient for you.” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
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