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“Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:3-4

While listening to today’s homily on the Feast of the Sto. Nino, I was reminded by the Parish Priest of a very important principle: be childlike, but not childish.  One is positive and one is negative.  A childlike demeanor is manifested as innocence, while a childish attitude shows immaturity.  And the truth is age is not a good predictor for having a childish attitude.

As a tribute to children, here is a mnemonic of their characteristics that we adults must have:

C – Courageousness.  Notice how a child not not seem to fear getting hurt while at play.  A child throws caution to the wind and exhibits a gung-ho attitude towards tasks.  And once a child falls, he or she cries momentarily, but soon forgets about the pain and tries again.  That’s childlike courage.

H – Happiness.  Be content with small things.  In today’s mass, the priest gave away lollipops to children.  How happy they were!  They were so grateful, and you could see wide  smiles on their faces.  Can we still find happiness in the little blessings we receive everyday?

I – Inquisitiveness.  A child is naturally curious about the world.  They are so eager to learn, in ways that are unique.  It may not always be classroom learning that they enjoy, but they love to pursue knowledge through trial and error.  They ask questions, which lead to even more questions needing simple answers.  Perhaps this is the reason why Albert Einstein, the most prolific intellectual in modern history, loves children.  So remain inquisitive.  Keep learning.  And share knowledge with others.

L – Liveliness.  They just seem to move on and on, never stopping.  Their energy seems limitless.  Just give them time to rest, and when they recharge, watch out!  It’s a joy to be with children because of their infectious liveliness.  If only adults can sustain this kind of energy to fuel their work, relationships, and pursuits.  The human race would accomplish more if only they do not lose the desire to live life to the fullest.

D – Devotedness.  They love their parents and guardians – those who provide them with their everyday needs.  Children are extremely loyal to those who love them unconditionally.  And this unconditional love is the reason why Jesus Christ loves children.  Their uncorrupted minds do not harbor any hidden agendas.  So devote yourself to your faith, and blessings will come.

May we adults learn from children.  And may we remain childlike in the eyes of our Creator.



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