Saint Clare of Assisi

“... and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3.)

Origen of Alexandria (part 2 of Pope Benedict’s reflections on Origen) comments on this verse from the First Reading proclaimed at Mass today:

“Beside this obvious explanation let another be given as well. As an act of theological and ethical reflection, let us ask what sort of a child Jesus called to him and has set in the midst of the disciples. Think of it this way: The child called by Jesus is the Holy Spirit, who humbled himself. He was called by the Savior and set in the middle of the disciples of Jesus. The Lord wants us, ignoring all the rest, to turn to the examples given by the Holy Spirit, so that we become like the children — that is, the disciples — who were themselves converted and made like the Holy Spirit. God gave these children to the Savior according to what we read in Isaiah: “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord has given me.” To enter the kingdom of heaven is not possible for the person who has not turned from worldly matters and become like those children who had the Holy Spirit. Jesus called this Holy Spirit to him like a child, when he came down from his perfect completeness to people, and set it in the middle of the disciples.” (Commentary on Matthew, 13.)

O God,
Who in Your mercy led
Saint Clare to a love of poverty,
grant, through her intercession,
that, following Christ
in poverty of spirit,
we may merit to contemplate you
one day in the heavenly Kingdom.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen