At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me. Matthew 18:1-5
Imitate a little child which will walk along with one hand clinging to its father, and with the other gathering the wayside fruits. So whilst with one hand you collect and use the good things of this world, always with the other keep hold of your Heavenly Father, frequently turning to Him, in order to learn whether He approves your occupations and proceedings. Above all, beware of letting go your hold on His protection with the intention of gathering more abundantly, for if He is not with you, you cannot move one step without falling to the ground.
– St. Francis De Sales, Introduction to the Devout Life
The disciples of Jesus had already left everything to follow him, yet they sensed they were still falling short of greatness. When they asked Jesus how to become the greatest, our Lord upended their expectations by telling his followers (then and now) to seek littleness, humility.
We adults are charged to guard the well-being and innocence of children… and to turn to our Father for healing and reconciliation when our own innocence has been lost. Jesus tells us the story of the Forgiving Father in Luke 15 to remind us of that we are always welcome in his loving embrace. Let us run to our Father as little ones, and not let go of the Divine hand again.