Let the Children Come
Working with younger children at school, you can see God at work. Today when we were having religion discussion with the kids, they had to answer faith-based questions to the best of their ability. When you ask a group of children to tell you where we see Jesus present in our lives and they come up with a million different answers, all you can do is smile. There’s a reason Jesus said “let the children come”. They are still innocent, making mistakes sure, but too young to feel tied down by stress and burdens and just constantly ready to experience life. It was funny, during discussion time, some children wanted to stand up, they couldn’t sit still. If only we as teenagers, adults, had the same amount of energy and willingness to move and live.
Today’s Gospel states: ‘And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the first of all?" Jesus answered, "The first is, `Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second is this, `You shall love your neighbour as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that he is one, and there is no other but he; and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbour as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any question’ (Mark 12:28-34).
It is more than giving burnt offerings. It is about stepping out of your boundaries and constantly giving yourself to God in everything you do. It is more than giving sacrifices, but being the sacrifice, like Jesus was for each one of us, an act of unending, all-giving love. In being this sacrifice, we show our love for God, and for our neighbour. You know how we were talking about the freedom of a child’s mind, their ease at imagining God’s presence and difficulty with sitting still? Well, in some ways we are all children, children of God. We don’t know everything in life and try to pretend we do. However, we fall, repeatedly and seek understanding on how to improve, to be happy. Let us try to step out of our constant 'me' in life today and be more curious, take more chances in bringing God's love to others.
Today's prayer comes from Catholic Online, a prayer for the children:
O Heavenly Father, I commend my children to Thy care. Be Thou their God and Father; and mercifully supply whatever is lacking in me through frailty or negligence. Strengthen them to overcome the corruptions of the world, whether from within or without; and deliver them from the secret snares of the enemy. Pour Thy grace into their hearts, and strengthen and multiply in them the gifts of Thy Holy Spirit, that they may daily grow in grace and in knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ; and so, faithfully serving Thee here, may come to rejoice in Thy presence hereafter. Amen.