Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it” (Mark 10:14-15).
In yesterday’s Gospel passage, Jesus answered a question on divorce wherein He so strongly defended the marriage bond making it clear that “what God has joined together, man must not divide.” Today’s Gospel passage is a direct continuation of that of yesterday. It was as though Jesus wanted us to know the reason why He took such a stand on the issue of divorce.
Children were special friends of Jesus and he always wanted them around him because they were very handy in making His illustrations. A few days ago, we read how Jesus took a child in the midst of His disciples and told them that if anyone would be great, he must first be the servant and least of all. Whoever humbles himself like a child will be great in the Kingdom of God.
Today, people were bringing children to Jesus so that He would touch them and bless them and behold His disciples tried to stop them. Jesus was angry with His disciples saying, “Let the children come to them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.” Jesus then makes another point why children are so special; their manner of reception. Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.
What does it mean to have a childlike spirit? It is a spirit of faith; a spirit that is willing to believe anything, a spirit of docility and willingness to learn, a spirit of wonder, a spirit that truly fears God. Children are believers. Whatever you tell them is real. Most of us formed a concept of God as kids and that is still what we hold on to today. As kids, we never doubted a single story even when we did not understand it completely. It was so easy to believe.
Do you notice that it was easier to pray when you were a little child? Do you remember how you had this strong belief that God was right there in your room listening to you with his long white beards each time you knelt down to pray?
Do you recall how you were quick to make the sign of the cross each time your eyes mistakenly caught sight of an impure picture? Do you recall how you had a sleepless night because you mistakenly broke a glass cup without reporting yourself to Mummy and Daddy? Do you recall when you didn’t know how to tell a lie?
What happened to you now? What is stopping you from returning to those good-old-days of innocence and purity of heart? Jesus is saying, that unless we recover our childlike spirit; unless we start fearing God the way we feared Him as kids, we cannot enter God’s kingdom. Unless we revive our dead consciences, we have no access to heaven. Unless we can afford to lose sleep over a single sin, we cannot enter heaven.
Let us Pray: Lord Jesus, make me a child again; restore my innocence, re-awaken my prayer life and increase my fear of you, Amen!
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of the 7th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Sirach 17:1-13, Psalm 103 and Mark 10:13-16).