Saturday, August 13, 2016

Reflection: Matthew 19:13-15

Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time - Matthew 19:13-15

Today’s Gospel reading is extremely brief; however, these three verses have a powerful message. 
Many children were brought to Jesus so that He might touch them and pray over them.  The disciples did not approve of this and they rebuked the parents who were bringing their children to Jesus.  Jesus was not pleased with the disciples.  He said to them in a stern voice, “Let the children come to me.  For the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Jesus then placed his hands on the children.  After doing this, he went away.

Do we let the children come to us?  Children have much to teach us.  Most adults believe that they know much more than children.  Yet young children typically see things as they are; they are not yet blinded by the messages of our grasping culture. Young children often will play with boxes, jump ropes and other simple games and they will have a wonderful time. 

Not long ago, I began visiting an orphanage.  The children at this home are babies and young children up to the age of eight or nine.  Most of these children have been there for most of their young lives; yet most of the children are joyful and loving.  I am learning much from these children.  They are content with simple food and clothing.  It is wonderful to see how they have bonded with one another, the Sisters who run the orphanage, and their caregivers.  They don’t need much, nor do they expect much.  They are joyful and they enjoy their “brothers and sisters” who live with them.

Today I invite you to notice the children you encounter!  What do you see in the child that you wish to imitate?  Is it gratitude for the little things?  Or a child will invite you to be more playful?  Or perhaps the child may bring you deep joy simply by being who he or she is.  And … a child may entice your inner child to play, and to be joyful and thankful for the small gifts you receive today.

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