At that time Jesus exclaimed: “I give praise to you, 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.” Matthew 11:25
This passage is in stark contrast to the passage just before it in which Jesus chastised the towns of Chorazin, Bethsaida and Capernaum for not repenting and believing in Him. And as soon as Jesus issued those rebukes, He turned His eyes to Heaven and offered praise to the Father for revealing the hidden mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven to those who were “childlike.”
One of the greatest threats to a pure and childlike faith is intellectual pride. Those who consider themselves as “wise and learned” are often tempted to rely upon their own reasoning abilities to come to conclusions and beliefs in life. The problem is that even though the matters of our faith are fully reasonable, they go beyond the conclusions that human reason alone can achieve. We cannot figure out God by ourselves. We need the gift of faith for that, and the gift of faith begins with a spiritual communication from God through which He reveals to us Who He is and what is true. Only the childlike, meaning, those who are humble, are able to hear this form of communication from God and respond.
This passage also reveals to us that Jesus passionately rejoices in this form of humble faith. He gives “praise” to the Father in Heaven for witnessing such faith, because Jesus knows that this form of faith originates from the Father.
In your life, it is important that you regularly ponder whether you are more like the wise and learned or like those who are childlike. Though God is an infinite and incomprehensible mystery, He must be known. And the only way we can come to know God is if He reveals Himself to us. And the only way God will reveal Himself to us is if we remain humble and childlike.
As we come to childlike faith, we must also imitate the praise that Jesus offered the Father for the faith that He witnessed in the lives of His followers. We, too, must turn our eyes to those who clearly manifest this pure knowledge of God by the gift of faith. As we see this faith lived, we must rejoice and offer praise to the Father. And this act of praise must be given not only when we see faith alive in others, it must also be given when we see the gift of faith grow within our own soul. We must foster a holy awe of what God does within us, and we must rejoice in that experience.
Reflect, today, upon Jesus giving praise to the Father as He witnesses the faith born in the hearts of His followers. When Jesus looks at you, what does He do? Does He issue chastisements? Or does His Sacred Heart rejoice and give praise for what He sees. Give joy to the Heart of Christ by humbling yourself to the point that you, too, are counted among the childlike who truly know and love God.
My rejoicing Lord, You are attentive to the workings of grace in every human heart. As You see the Voice of the Father speaking to Your children, You rejoice at such a sight. Dear Lord, I pray that my own heart will be the cause of Your joy and Your praise of the Father in Heaven. Please speak to me and help me to believe with all my heart. Jesus, I trust in You.