25 Feb 2017: Blessing of the Children


Saturday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Reading 1: Sir 17: 1-15; Ps. 103: 13-18; Gospel: Mk. 10: 13-16

Susan Stonnont (WIT and WISDOM Dec 28, 2000) told her experience about her children. She said: “When our children were small they knew how precious they were to Jesus but I think I had a mind lapse on that, especially one day when I was rushing around trying to get a baby and two little ones to a doctor appointment. My little girl couldn’t find her shoe, and with our coats on, I scolded her in an exasperated and very harsh way. Quick as a wink her 4-year-old brother grabbed her around the shoulders in a big hug, looked at me in all earnestness, and said, Mommy! You shouldn’t yell at your blessings.

Although today’s gospel reading talks to us about children but actually, it is about the Kingdom of God and what kind of people can expect to be part of it. People are bringing their children to Jesus (v. 13) to be blessed by Him. But His disciples rebuke them. Jesus scolds His disciples for acting like this and teaches them about the nature of God’s Kingdom and the people He expects to be part of it. That it is of such as these children that the Kingdom of God is made. He says: “Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it,” (v. 15). Even though children are weak and subject to exploitation. No wonder Jesus makes these children as a symbol to convey a message that we too are spiritually weak and vulnerable.

If we are spiritually weak and vulnerable, what are we going to do? Like children let us:

Firsttrust God like a child. A child never doubts the love of an adult for him. Even if when his parents correct, admonish, or punish him from time to time, the child continues to trust. Somebody said that while some adults were wary of approaching Christ, still trying to sum Him up and still counting the cost, the children flocked to Him, pulled on His arm, spoke to Him, smiled at Him and absorbed His smile and His words. Christ invites us to approach Him in the same way.

Secondbe happy like a child. A child’s laughter and joy is contagious. Christ invites children to come to Him, to be near to Him because He likes them and they come. He loves their joy, innocence, smiles, excitement and games. Sometimes we find it difficult to imagine Christ actually enjoying Himself. Yet He does. He has a human heart and He loves these things. Let us contemplate His joy and excitement as He shares in the joy and excitement of the children.

Thirdbe simple like a child. Somebody had said that children perceive the presence of good and react spontaneously to it. Simple explanations of what is right and what is wrong are enough for them. Their imagination is captivated by simple tales and fables that bring them closer to the truth. They tell things like they are. They speak the truth because it doesn’t occur to them to speak otherwise, “from the mouth of babes comes the truth,” this is true.

Lastly, Fr. Jun Javines, SVD (Bible Diary, May 24, 2008) said that we need to cling to Jesus in order for us to grow and mature in our spiritual lives and acknowledge that Jesus is the one who nourishes us in our life journey.

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