Spiritual Childhood

The seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus,
“Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name.”
Jesus said, “I have observed Satan fall like lightning from the sky.
Behold, I have given you the power
‘to tread upon serpents’ and scorpions
and upon the full force of the enemy
and nothing will harm you.
Nevertheless, do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you,
but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,
“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,
for although you have hidden these things
from the wise and the learned
you have revealed them to the childlike.
Yes, Father, such has been your gracious will.
All things have been handed over to me by my Father.
No one knows who the Son is except the Father,
and who the Father is except the Son
and anyone to whom the Son wishes to reveal him.”

Turning to the disciples in private he said,
“Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.
For I say to you,
many prophets and kings desired to see what you see,
but did not see it,
and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.”
(Luke 10:17-24)

Scripture Study

10:18 I saw Satan fall: The rapid advance of God’s kingdom through the disciples’ preaching and exorcistic ministry is matched by the downfall and retreat of the devil (11:20; 13:16; Rev 12:7–9).

10:20 written in heaven: The saints are enrolled in God’s heavenly “book of life” (cf. Ex 32:32; Ps 69:28; Dan 12:1; Rev 3:5). Disciples should therefore rejoice more because of their sonship in God’s family than because of their successful missions.

10:22 Jesus is the divine Son of God and, so, the heir of his Father’s authority and estate (Mt 28:18; Jn 3:35; 17:2). ● The Father, Son, and Spirit are equal in being, and no one of them possesses more of the divine life and knowledge than another. Since the Son is no less perfect than the Father, he is uniquely qualified to reveal the inner life of the Trinity to the world (Jn 1:18; 14:9) (CCC 253, 2603).

10:24 desired to see what you see For centuries, the righteous among God’s people had desired to see the arrival of God’s kingdom (compare Luke 2:25–26). 

Scripture Reflection

At that very moment he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.”
(Lk 10:21)

Jesus reveals one of the effects of humility—spiritual childhood – as noted in another passage from the Gospel of Matthew: “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” We must understand however, that spiritual childhood does not involve weakness, softness or ignorance.

St Josemaría Escrivá, in Christ Passing By, spoke on the life of spiritual childhood. “To become children, we must renounce our pride and self-sufficiency, recognizing that we can do nothing by ourselves. We must realize that we need grace, and the help of God our Father to find our way and keep to it. To be little, you must abandon yourself as children do, believe as children believe.”

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.