Saturday, February 26, 2011

Old men can make war, but it is children who will make history

It is better to be the child of God than king of the whole world - Saint Aloysius Gonzaga;

Gospel text (Mk 10:13-16): People were bringing their little children to Jesus to have him touch them, and the disciples rebuked them for this. When Jesus noticed it, He was very angry and said, «Let the children come to me and don't stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it».

Then He took the children in his arms and laying his hands on them, blessed them.

This notion of God as a father figure to humans continues into the Gospel for today. Jesus is portrayed as a father to all of the children—probably not necessarily children in a literal sense, but rather those who wanted to live as children of God. When it says, “Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it,” I think the scripture may be referencing what is typically thought of as a child’s innocence and purity of heart. Anyone who desires to live a life in God should not be held back like some of the people in today’s Gospel were, but should instead be allowed to be free and live a life fulfilling God’s covenant.

We must learn the art of receiving the Kingdom of God. He who is like a child can easily perceive that everything is a gift, a grace. From our smallness we should be open to receive. And, “to receive” God's favor, we must listen and contemplate with “receptive silence”. St. Ignatius of Antioch, to the Ephesians noted « He who possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to hear even His very silence, that he may be perfect, and may both act as he speaks, and be recognized by his silence».

What is it about “little children” that captured Jesus’ imagination?

Children are honest and express themselves easily or “say what they think”. Adults may think the same things, i.e., “that food tastes like dog poop…that hat is ugly…etc”, but we would not dare to say it aloud.

Little children are openly affectionate. They will run and hug you as you walk in the door. They will climb into your lap and give you a kiss. They will hold your hand or make you chase them and catch them with giggles. They love to laugh.

Little children trust you. They go through the “terrible two’s” to learn their own authority and then they know it is good to follow your adult directions. When you tell them something is harmful, they will listen.

Little children are fascinated with life and living creatures. They can watch a caterpillar or butterfly or bird or insect for a good while. Their curiosity is easily peaked.

Little children express awe. They let themselves be touched by a sunset, a deer loping across a suburban lawn or garden, waves on a beach or the vastness of an ocean. Beauty is held and relished.

We, “sophisticated adults“, could learn a thing or two from our “little children”.

No comments:

Post a Comment