Ez 18:1-10,13,30-32 / Ps 51
Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.
If you want them to follow you
As their model and example,
Show your children a life renewed,
Teach them to honor God’s temple.
Then people brought little children to Jesus that He mightHH lay His hands on them and pray for them. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” When He had placed His hands on them, He went away. (Matthew 19:13-15)
What an opportune moment that after Jesus had given a discourse on marriage and divorce, the very reason for God’s precious gift, the fruits of love and marriage, were brought to Him for His benediction. The parents of those children must have been so moved by the power of Jesus’ words that like every proud father and mother, they wanted to show the Master the “products” of their happy union, and for Him to bless them so that these little ones may also grow up to become responsible and loving parents like them.
The blessing of the children has become a tradition in our parish in all its Sunday masses. Right after the celebration, children of all ages and sizes, some in the arms of their parents, converge in front of the altar for the celebrant to touch their heads the way Jesus must have done to bless the little ones. Seeing the beaming, happy faces of these innocent creatures as they run back to their parents, full of faith that they have received a special grace from God Himself makes one reflect on how much we might learn from these innocents. Look at how disappointed they are, being refused to receive the Body of Christ as their parents receive Holy Communion. And yet they are more fortunate than other children whose parents no longer keep the Lord’s Day holy, putting more importance in some other Sunday leisure. How will they answer the Lord on that fateful day when He asks them, “Why did you not let the little children come to me? Why did you hinder them?”
As parents, our first mission in life is to make sure that we bring our children to our Lord Jesus Christ — not only in bringing them to church with us, but by leading them to God with our Christian way of life as their model and example.
Father God, thank You for the little children, who teach us the simple joys in life; their innocence and total dependence remind us of what our Lord Jesus said, that in order to be worthy of Your kingdom, we must be like little children. Amen.
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