The Gospel of Matthew
Session 40 – 11/30/2014
Fr. John Codis
The Essence of Christian Discipleship
Seven qualities can mark the personal relationship of the Christian. They are: humility, responsibility, self-renunciation, individual care, discipline, fellowship, and spirit of forgiveness.
Unless you turn
Christ warns the disciples that they are going in the completely wrong way by asking “who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” This indicates that the disciples had no idea what the Kingdom of Heaven was. Christ said, “Unless you turn.” Focus yourself on forgetting selfish ambitions and a life of service not power.
Become as little children
There are many characteristics in a child which mark the man of the kingdom: the power to wonder, the power to forgive, the innocence, and only to do.
There are three great qualities which make a child the symbol of those who are citizens in the Kingdom.
“A child’s humility is the pattern of the Christian’s behavior to his fellow man, and the child dependence and trust are the pattern of the Christians attitude towards God, the Father.”
A terrible responsibility
There is nothing more terrible than to destroy someone’s innocence. If we are called to be “as little children,” to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, and we destroy others innocence a great weight is laid upon us. It is better to have a large millstone hung around our necks and be drowned in the open sea.
This responsibility is given to us not to teach another to sin!
Yes there is sin within the world. “It is inevitable to avoid temptations in a world which sin has entered; but that does not lessen the responsibility of the man who is the cause of a stumbling-block being placed in the way of a younger person or of a beginner in the faith.”
It is therefore our responsibility to remove the stumbling-blocks never to place them in another’s way.
“In every child there are infinite possibilities for good or ill. It is the supreme responsibility of the parent, of the teacher, of the Christian Church, to see that his dynamic possibilities for good are realized. To stifle them, to leave them untapped, to twist them into evil powers, is sin.”
Christ will always go after us no matter how far we stray from the path. His love is forever and will always find us.