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Lectionary 345: Children

February 24, 2017


Lectionary : Scripture:  Feb. 25:  Sirach 17:1-15. Psalm 103: 13-14, 15-16, 17-18.  Mark 10: 13-16:

Many people are a bit shocked when they see the passion and emotion of Jesus in the Gospel of Mark.  These are part of our humanity which Jesus possessed to the fullest.  In our story about the disciples preventing the children from coming to Jesus we learn that Jesus was outwardly upset with their doing this.  The Scripture uses the word “indignant” in the translation I read from the lectionary.  Passion and emotions are basically good when used for the right reason and purpose.  Jesus wanted to show the people and the disciples that the simplicity, openness, and trust of children is what makes them models for what it takes to be in the kingdom of God. One should never prevent a child from coming to Jesus!

His love and affection for children offers us an example of not only how we should live our lives but also the responsibility we have for those who depend on God alone because of their needs.  Good parents can be like Jesus in this respect and good educators are those who are aware of the needs of their little ones.  Most students do need this type of help besides the strict academic discipline they need to meet the demands made upon them.

Our world has neglected children and even abused them in so many ways:  wars, terrorism,  trafficking, and allowing them to go unnoticed as they fade away through starvation and lack of protection.  The disciples’ actions are nothing in comparison to the harm done to children today.

The passage recalls the incident where Jesus has children surrounding him and protects them while saying those who hurt or abuse them should have a millstone around their necks.  We are familiar with the horrendous sexual and physical abuse that children undergo even in the richest of countries.  Jesus words keep ringing in our ears, “Whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a little child will not enter the kingdom.”  After the most primitive needs are met these children need the benefits of a sound education especially for the poor and the neglected ones.

This childlike way of life was exemplified by St. Theresa of the Child of Jesus whose little way has helped many of us to grow in the dispositions and virtues that a child has innately. Where along the line do we lose this way of walking on the journey of life toward the kingdom?

Our Psalm speaks of children who experience the compassion of God who enacts justice toward them, the orphan, the widow, and the stranger.

Lord, have mercy on us.  You are meek and humble of heart and you are waiting for us to return to your open arms as the little children did in the Gospel today. Amen.

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