Memorial of the Holy Guardian Angels
(Job 19:21-27; Matthew 18:1-5.10)
What is it about little children that Jesus wants us to emulate? Perhaps it is their acquisitiveness. In the supermarket often enough children load the cart with their own selections. Or maybe it is children’s penchant for trying the limits of their parents. They are likely to make irritating noises until their parents explode with anger. Of course, these behaviors are hardly what the Lord is recommending. More likely, Jesus wants his disciples to recognize that they need God as much as children need their parents.
Today’s gospel passage is not so much a demonstration for the existence of Guardian Angels as it is a call for people to repent of egotism. They are to realize that they need God to attain the happiness that they so much long for. They will meet God in response to their call when they stop showing pretense. They will realize then that God sends angels not just to children but to adults who choose humility.
We become like children when we get on our knees to pray. We become like children when we thank God not just before meals but repeatedly for the many graces we receive. Finally, we become like children – the best of them at least – when we can share the little we have with others.