When it comes to Disney World one can visit Epcot, the Magic Kingdom, Animal Planet, or the Hollywood Studios but maybe the most interesting tour of all would be of the underground network that lies hidden behind the scenes to make Disney what it is. There is nearly 400,000 square feet of tunnels and intricate passageways that take care of everything from trash collection to characters and costumes. This all lies beneath one’s feet as they travel through the magical world of Disney enhancing the experience of the vacationing family taking it all in not even knowing what it takes to make their stay Disney special.
In a real sense it is an honor to be on the inside of knowing about how hidden things work. To be a part of that inner circle requires a relationship of trust where vulnerability is readily welcome and no fear of judgment is ever felt. The disposition of being in on the secret Jesus describes in our Gospel as being a little one. The mentality of the wise and learned expressed here is that of already having the answers, of being self-sufficient, independent, and settled in ones ways. The monk and scholar Erasmo Levias Merikakis, great name, right— describes the little one as inarticulate not in the sense that they have nothing to say, but rather that they have nothing of one’s own to say independently of the Heart, Mind, and Being of God.
The truth is we all live hidden lives. There are things we do every day that we don’t want other people to know about us. We can so easily fall into the trap of living a double life allowing fear to be the pre-determining factor of what we really share others, even the people that are close to us. The enemy wants us to keep these things hidden and uses shame, guilt, the perception of image or appearance is most important, but God provides a sacrament, the sacrament of reconciliation for us to open our darkness to the light of his love and mercy. Jesus says come to me you who are burdened there is no heavier thing to carry than sin and fear. He longs to give us rest, to remove the weight that we carry that we may not have even realized, that can affect us so deeply and yet His yoke is easy and light. So often we work up in our mind that God’s way is hard, that no one can really understand what I’ve gone through or am going through. There is no method to God’s mercy it is simply freely given as we humble ourselves like little ones.
St. Therese of Liseux also known as the Little Flower also referred to as St. Therese of the child Jesus acknowledged her need for God, her need for mercy and made an offering of her life to the merciful heart of Jesus. This canonized saint who’s spiritual director stated that she never committed a true mortal sin, felt her greatest contribution was simply to allow God to provide for her weakness, her brokenness because was exactly who God is and what he desires most to do. This was her path to holiness.
To be a little one, to be childlike is to be concerned not with what to say or how to say but to simply taking the moment to be embraced by what is bigger than yourself. It’s no wonder that every kid wants to go to Disney not to see the inner-workings of what lies beneath but to be caught up in the great display of wonder that is on the surface. I invite us this week to go to confession or to have that conversation with God about was has been hidden in your heart that you know needs to changes—He wants to bring healing–to offer his mercy. When we bring him our brokenness our weakness he can transform us to be little enough to do his will and understand that the Kingdom of God isn’t merely magical but is the kingdom of where freedom is lies not in what is hidden but what is embraced by the father of mercy.