ISSL Reflections March 12 2023 Matthew 18:1–9 Post 2

As we return to these paragraphs today, take some time to slowly and meditatively read them.

Then pause for a moment and rest in that reading and hearing the words of Jesus.

Now, let’s reread the first two paragraphs again and listen for the connections between them.

Matthew 18:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition)

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? He called a child, whom he put among them and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

“If any of you cause one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things are bound to come, but woe to the one through whom they come!

“If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.

Do we connect “children” with “little ones”?

It seems to me we can.

The second paragraph introduces the idea of “cause … to sin.”

Take some time to consider how the “greatness” found in children, those who are humble, and the “little ones” can be brought near to what we consider sin.

Jesus doesn’t offer here any definition of sin. From your familiarity with Jesus’ teaching, what do you think Jesus might consider sin in this context?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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