Step #1: Lectio / Read
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.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
No, that wasn’t a typo. That’s the reading for today, just 3 verses from the Gospel of Matthew. But as always when Jesus speaks and acts, he packs volumes of meaning into those few words and deeds.
As we’ve all read, Jesus’ ministry was a busy one, a never ending stream of people eager to be near him, to see him, to hear him, to touch him, to BE touched by him. People would come from all over the land in the hope of being able to witness his miracles. Families would bring their sick relatives to Jesus for healing. In today’s gospel, parents brought their children to be blessed by Jesus. What an incredible show of love for their children these parents displayed in doing this. The disciples, undoubtedly thinking they are helping Jesus cope with the great demands on him, prevent the children from approaching Jesus.
BUZZZZZZZ!!!!! Wrong answer!!!!!
“Let the children come to me” Jesus commands. His love for them would never stand seeing them sent away from him. He could not abide such a thing. His love for the children is always great, because “the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these”.
Children possess simple hearts, humble hearts, untarnished by the difficulties of life, unclouded by personal judgments and learned prejudices, unhardened by the scars inflicted by sin. Children possess the same purity of heart as Jesus. These are the hearts we should ALL have. As Jesus has stated “Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mark 10:15), and “Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4)
Let us all strive to be like children in our faith. To free our hearts from any blemish, to love Jesus with the simple and pure wonder of the child we all once were. Let us all be simple.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
What in my life complicates my relationship with Jesus?
How can I bring Jesus to the world?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
"Jesus, create in me a heart as simple and unburdened as a child’s."
"I am a child of God, seeking the kingdom of heaven."
"Let me be a childlike witness of Jesus’s love to all I encounter."
For the Rest of Your Day...
Think back to your early childhood, recall how much you loved and trusted your parents without question. Strive today to evoke the simplicity of life in those days, even for just 10 minutes, and replace your hectic life with that life of love and simplicity. Spend that time focused on Jesus, let him see you as a child… his child.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Jim Lundgren.
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