Gospel of Matthew 18:1-5, 10, 12-14 Reflection:
The apostles as usual are jostling for position; “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” In other words, shall we be up there among the overlords since we are your friends, and by implication, ‘since we are the men who helped you here on earth.’
Like us, the poor apostles are caught up with seeing the kingdom of heaven in worldly terms; they can’t help it because they have no other reference point to work from.
Heaven, to them, must be some sort of super human place.
Jesus, who has come down from heaven, does not tell them what the kingdom of heaven is like but he startles them when he said that those who live there are like little children.
A child has no pride; nor does a child have fear, self presumption, arrogance, self concern or any of the other grandiose ideas that adults have about themselves.
Jesus then adds another point; do not despise these little ones. We assume that he is talking about the children but perhaps by ‘little ones’ Jesus means all the unsophisticated, unlearned and not too worldly people that there are on earth.
It is human nature to look down on others, to give them a bye-ball and not to notice them. In the kingdom of heaven, children of all ages shall be welcome.
We may not know what heaven is like but we can be sure of one thing; it shall not have the self centred corrupt nature that this world calls normal!