Navarre Bible Commentary:
Monday, 26th Week in Ordinary Time

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
Memorial: Saint Jerome, Priest and Doctor of the Church



Humility and Tolerance
[46] And an argument arose among them (the disciples) as to which of them was the greatest. [47] But when Jesus perceived the thoughts of their hearts, He took a child and put him by His side, [48] and said to them, “Whoever receives this child in My name receives Me, and whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me; for he who is least among you all is the one who is great.”


Cited in the Catechism:  In declaring the promulgation of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Blessed John Paul II explained that the Catechism “is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.”  He went on to “declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion” (Fidei Depositum). No passages from this Gospel reading are cited in the Catechism, but citations from a parallel reading in Matthew 18:1-5 can be found in paragraphs 526 and 2785.


Commentary:
46-48. Jesus takes a child in His arms to give His Apostles example and to correct their too-human ambitions, thereby teaching all of us not to make ourselves important. “Don’t try to be a grown-up. A child, always a child, even when you are dying of old age. When a child stumbles and falls, nobody is surprised; his father promptly lifts him up. When the person who stumbles and falls is older, the immediate reaction is one of laughter. Sometimes this first impulse passes and the laughter gives way to pity. But older people have to get up by themselves.


“Your sad experience of each day is full of stumbles and falls. What would become of you if you were not continually more of a child? Don’t want to be grown- up. Be a child; and when you stumble, may you be lifted by the hand of your Father-God” (St. J. Escriva, The Way, 870).


49-50. Our Lord corrects the exclusivist and intolerant attitude of the Apostles. St. Paul later learned this lesson, as we can see from what he wrote during his imprisonment in Rome: “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will […]. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice” (Philippians 1:15, 18). “Rejoice, when you see others working in good apostolic activities. And ask God to grant them abundant grace and that they may respond to that grace. Then, you, on your way: convince yourself that it’s the only way for you” (St. J. Escriva, The Way, 965).


Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.


Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and by Scepter Publishers in the United States. We encourage readers to purchase The Navarre Bible for personal study. See Scepter Publishers for details.

“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” St Jerome
About Don Gonzalez 1057 Articles
I am a cradle Catholic, wandered in the desert of sin for 20 years and returned into full communion with the Roman Catholic Church in 2005. I am the founder of Joe Catholic, a lay apostolate designed by men for men. Our mission is to aid lay men in answering the universal call to holiness and equipping them to be the spiritual leaders of their families. Simply put, we help people learn, live and share their faith. I recently completed my Masters in pastoral theology from Ave Maria University and work as the Magnet Program Coordinator at the Judge Barefoot Sanders Law Magnet in Dallas.

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