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Blessing of the children

 

Gospel reading: 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.

 

REFLECTIONS: Let the children come to me

The command of Jesus to let the children come to him is one of the tenderest in the Gospel and has inspired many artistic works, often used as cover il­lustrations for children’s books. Here children are seen not so much for their innocence and simplicity as for their lack of im­portance [as yet] in Jewish so­ciety. The disciples rebuke the parents (most probably moth­ers) for disturbing their Teacher with such an “inconsequential” matter.

Jesus, however, welcomes the children and blesses them by placing his hands on them. The imposition of hands signifies em­powerment, as when leaders in the Christian community are ap­pointed and empowered when the Apostles lay their hands on them. This is also the last action of Jesus before he ascends to heaven: “He led them [out] as far as Bethany, raised his hands, and blessed them. As he blessed them he parted from them and was taken up to heaven” (Lk 24:50-51).

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Filipinos have the beautiful tra­dition of Mano Po!

Do you continue this practice in your family?

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SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord,” ST PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: publishing@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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