"Please don't kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted, and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child, and be loved by the child. From our children's home in Calcutta alone, we have saved over 3,000 children from abortions. These children have brought such love and joy to their adopting parents, and have grown up so full of love and joy!" - Mother Teresa
Gospel Text: Mt 19:13-15
Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,
"Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them” (Matthew 19:14). With these words, Jesus rebuked his well-meaning disciples. They were trying to protect Jesus, to keep him from being bothered by “the little things.” But in Jesus’ eyes, the children weren’t a bother. They weren’t “little” at all. They were models of the kingdom of God for all the grown-ups. They had come to him simply, humbly, innocently, and he was eager to receive them and bless them.
Jesus’ actions here went against the prevailing philosophy of the age. First-century Mediterranean cultures were highly patriarchal, and that meant that children were often seen as little more than the property of their fathers. But here was a teacher who valued children for who they were in and of themselves. Here was someone willing to welcome the little ones, listen to their concerns, and pray with them just as he prayed with grown-ups. Once again, Jesus proved himself to be counter-cultural! Once again, he shows us how to treat everyone in our lives, big and small alike.
You too have great value and dignity in Jesus’ eyes. You are not a “little thing” or unimportant. You are never a bother to him. So don’t be afraid to come to him. He will always be glad to receive you. He always has time for you. Let him affirm your dignity and worth, even—especially—during those times when you struggle to see it yourself!