Monday of the Twenty-sixth week in Ordinary Time
“Whoever receives this little child in my name, receives me”
“As nurslings, you shall be carried in her arms, and fondled in her lap; as a mother comforts her son, so will I comfort you,” (Is 66, 12-13). The mother embraces her children and we seek out our own mother, the Church. Anything weak and helpless, whose weakness needs supporting, is sweet and vulnerable and endearing: God does not refuse his help to anything so young. Parents devote particular gentleness to their little ones;…in the same way, the Father of all creation gathers to himself all who take refuge in him, regenerates them by his Spirit and adopts them as his sons. He knows how gentle they are and they are the ones he loves, helps and protects; that is why he calls them his little children, (cf Jn 13,33).
The Holy Spirit, speaking through the mouth of Isaiah, applies the expression “child” to the Lord himself: “For a child is born to us, a son is given us…” (Is. 9,5). Who is this child, then? This newborn infant in whose image we, too, are children? Through the same prophet, the Spirit describes his greatness: “Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace,” (v.6).
Oh great God! Oh perfect child! The Son is in the Father and the Father is in the Son. How could the teaching this child gives not be irreproachable? It includes us all to guide us all, his children. He has stretched out his hands to us and we have placed in them all our faith. To this little child John the Baptist himself also gave testimony: “Behold,” he said, “the Lamb of God,” (Jn 1,29). Since Scripture has called children ‘lambs’, it has called “Lamb of God” the Word of God who became man for us and who wanted to become like us in all things, the Son of God himself, the child of the Father.
Saint Clement of Alexandria