And Jesus said absolutely nowhere…”Are you a child or are you a mature business professional”? He did say however, in Matthew 18: 3-4 “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
I just read that passage and I wondered whether Jesus had the practical, hard-nosed, modern, business professional living in the 21st century in mind when he said it. In our current society you are considered a child, or perhaps an idiot or worse if you admit to others that not only do you believe in a loving God but you also believe that He sent his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ to save us – AND – one more thing, that Jesus established the Catholic Church to help guide us after He ascended to His throne. Sheer lunacy! Only a simpleton or a child not yet wise to the ways of the world would believe in that nonsensical claptrap!
In reality Jesus was referring to the lives of humility and obedience of children as the keys to heaven for adults aided by the three theological virtues of faith, hope, and love. Humility is the human virtue, the awareness of living in the deep truth about ourselves – knowing both our good and our defects and that we need guidance and reliance on God to be truly happy in this world.
A child is dependent (or should be) on his or her parents for protection. They have no power, no prestige or status. So, to be like a child, Christ is telling us that we have to empty ourselves of the desire for power, prestige and status and all the trappings that come with it. Most of us do think power, prestige, status and those trappings will make us happy. In fact, they may for a while but the excitement fades over time. Madison Avenue marketing execs know this. The essence of every commercial on TV, the radio or internet is “our product is the medicine you need for you to be finally happy and content in this life”.
Deep within ourselves, alone in the stillness of the night, we know that the remedies promoted by Madison Avenue are not capable of truly improving our lives or making us happy. Nevertheless, we choose to purchase them, driven by a lack of alternatives. This decision is influenced by the societal notion that believing in God and the concept of His sending His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, for our salvation is considered an immature and unsophisticated perspective, and deemed an unfit option for mature adults living in the modern world.
Yet, to do that, to become child like and allow God to guide us will bring us rest and happiness in a restless world by trading the things we cling to in exchange for a life of charity, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, generosity, gentleness, faithfulness, modesty, self-control, and chastity.
Staying on the worldly course is a path that leads to a life of constant restlessness and deep unhappiness. The pursuit of power and prestige as goals in life creates a life filled with selfishness, despair, anger, impatience, meanness, badness, greediness, aggressiveness, faithlessness, vanity, indulgence and sexual impurity.