Gospel reading: Mk 10:13-16
People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
He embraced them
Jesus embraces children. He likes them. He does not look at them as mere by-products of procreation. When his disciples rebuke them for coming to him, Jesus becomes indignant. The Greek word for rebuke is epitimao, also used when Jesus casts out devils and stops nature’s tempest at sea. The disciples exert effort to keep children away from Jesus, as if they were threats to his security or to his mission or as if Jesus were only for the adults.
In response, Jesus tells the disciples that the children are entitled to draw close to him. They perfectly fit into God’s plan. They are not a nuisance but are important in his mission. In fact, the Kingdom of God belongs to them.
(Jesus does not say they belong to the Kingdom of God. Notice the big difference.)
We can then locate God’s Kingdom in children. When we encounter children, we find the Kingdom of God.
Jesus also teaches the disciples that their salvation constitutes in accepting children. They should not discriminate against children. Their mission is not for adults only. Children have a privileged place in the community and in our salvation.
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Do you love children? If so, don’t kill them; take care of them. Bring them to Jesus for his embrace and blessing.
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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: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.