STEP #1: LECTIO / READ
Gospel: Mark 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 the children and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.
STEP #2: MEDITATIO / MEDITATE
St. Therese of Lisieux is perhaps my favorite saint. Now that may sound a little weird that I am a dude and she is a dudette, but what she offers us is something that Jesus tries to capture in the scene of today's Gospel. Jesus says, "Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." He means we need to be child-like, and that is different from child-ish. Child-ish is when a grown man complains because he didn't get his video game or favorite piece of pizza. Child-like is when we live in this world with the sense of wonder and trust as we did as a child. St. Therese gives a beautiful example of what it means to be child-like: Consider a child who crawls to the bottom of the stairs and looks up. At the top of that very tall stairwell, she sees her father. He looks down on her, beckoning her to climb the stairs. As she tries she realizes that she can't even get up the first step. So what happens? The father, seeing how much his child wants to reach him, reaches down and picks the child up and carries that child to the top.
In our lives we try to reach God. We think that I and only I can get myself there. I have to drive my car to heaven. I have to deserve heaven and only if I become perfect today will God accept me. It is all about me getting there with no help. And this is certainly not a child's mind set. A child understands that if she raises her hands to her mother or father, they will reach down and pick them up. The child did nothing to deserve to be picked up. The child was simply a child and allowed her parents to love her.
This is God's invitation to us today: Reach up to Him and let Him pick you up. Do not think that you have to get to Him alone. He is simply waiting for you to raise your arms, cry for help, and He will swoop down to you and lift you to Himself. Remember, heaven is a gift not a reward.
STEP #3: ORATIO / PRAY
"Whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.”
As a child, when did I trust the most?
From my childhood, what am I grateful for?
What areas of my life now do I try to control?
Have I invited God into those places?
STEP #4: CONTEMPLATIO / CONTEMPLATE
"Abba....I belong to you."
"Jesus, I trust in you."
"Holy Spirit, make me child-like."
FOR THE REST OF YOUR DAY...
Be grateful for your childhood. Think about moments from your childhood that stick out to you. Try to thank those that made a positive impact in your life today.
SMARTPHONE LOCK SCREEN
Today's prayer was prepared by Deacon Sean Grismer.