What a comfort it is to hear Jesus say that the starting point of our faith is so simple that it is best received by “little ones.” God gives us gifts such as wisdom and learning, yet the beginning of our relationship with God lies in this simple openness to God, a beginning to which we must return time and time again.

What is it like to receive God as a little one? I imagine it’s a lot like the moment when God’s light shines on a fallow field within our heart or our world, unimportant and forgotten, populated by a few sheep and a few shepherds, so flooding it with joy that it comes to know its own dignity in an instant.

Today I give thanks for the “little ones,” the fallow fields of our hearts and our world that await the arrival of joy.

— Ryen Dwyer, S.J., a Chicago-Detroit province Jesuit scholastic, is currently studying philosophy at Loyola University Chicago.