In this video recording, Metropolitan Joseph shows why it would be better to let children preach, instead of us, because only by looking at a child are we edified. The child has a lot of inner peace, he is the perfect icon of Christ born in the manger in Bethlehem.
Source: Apostolia TV, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7RhQVppNzI
Divine Liturgy, Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, Paris, April 16, 2017.
Subtitles: English (YTranslations Ltd), Romanian
Metropolitan Joseph [Paris, France]:
“Beloved believers, when we see a little one next to us here in front we say it would be better to let him preach, instead of us, because only by looking at a child are we edified… we don’t need anything else.
You see, children, for those who have them, no matter how big the tensions might be and the hardships of daily life, when they get home and see them, all the worries and all the weaknesses go away, because of the child’s joy…
But what does the child have? The child has a lot of inner peace, because there is no cunning in the child. And when the child is also baptized, he is the perfect icon of Christ born in the manger in Bethlehem.
But the child also has an interior light that we cannot explain.
You’ve seen how kids sleep, with their arms open as on the cross. The grown-ups can’t sleep like that… We have the impression that grown-ups are so hunched from worries and everything they have inside, worries that turn into judging and malice sometimes, that they can’t stay open, as on the cross…
And we realize that this light is placed in man by God from birth… God has thought everything through, and if we are very careful and think about what we see around us, everything is so well thought out, that only by looking at it, look at a flower, or even better a person… but look at your own child and understand the divine light and beauty of the presence of God in him and you will already feel calmed down.
Children impart the same feeling that is imparted by the saints. When you approach their holy relics you become peaceful, for they absorb sin.
The same thing also happens with Christ if we are attentive, when we approach Him, when we pray, when we receive Him in Holy Communion, after we’ve received Holy Communion, after we’ve confessed, we have peace, we receive peace and we’re bright, cheerful, we can love anyone in any way, we are like angels, even if it lasts just a short while… because after we go out we remember the debts of others and say: let’s count, let’s see now what you owe me and what I owe you, that you talked, that you did that, and so forth… and we lose it in a moment.
But the child is not like that. The child gets upset now and forgets afterwards, in two minutes he is alright again and does not remember tomorrow that his mother beat him yesterday and loves her with the same love.
This is how we Christians should also be. The Savior said: ‘Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the Kingdom of God.’ (Matthew 18:3)
Does the child not commit wrongs, not quarrel, not fight, not scratch with others? But eventually they forgive, and no longer remember the next day.
We say: ‘I forgive but I do not forget. I forgave, but I can never forget.’ Even after 50 years, if we live, we remember: ‘You know what you did to me 45 years, 6 months, and 3 days ago, at 7 in the evening?’ But since then we went countless times to confession, countless times we said we forgive, countless times we said that everything is okay, but we do not forget.
The child forgets. Not only forgets and forgives, but simply regards you as if there had been nothing yesterday, embraces you as a parent and as a brother and even as a foreigner, with all the love.
The light is there. There is a light…”