“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Yesterday’s very short passage (Mt 19:13-15) has Jesus welcoming and blessing children.  When the disciples rebuke them Jesus tells them all the words above, blesses the remaining children, and leaves.  It is not unusual for Jesus to speak highly of children and encourage everyone to have the attitudes and dispositions of children: trust, openness to truth, wonder and awe at beauty, lack of duplicitousness, innocence.  It seems that we should seriously ponder these childlike attributes, especially those that have been compromised by living life.  It is easy to fall away from these early perspectives as we are changes by the cares of the world, the responsibilities of adulthood, and the cynicism that can build in our various experiences.  Do these cares, responsibilities, and cynicism weigh us down or distract us such that they draw us away from God and His Church?  Do we lack trust because we have often found others untrustworthy?  Are we tempted to mimic Pilate by asking “What is truth?” in a world seemingly full of contradiction and deception?  Are we too careworn or busy to “stop and smell the roses,” i.e., appreciate the natural beauty of the world and the spiritual beauty of those around us?  Do we assume ulterior motives from everyone because we’ve experienced it in others (and, if we are honest, in ourselves) far too often?  In a world that by and large has lost its innocence do we believe it can be found again and maintained?  All the answers start with us.  When we fully embrace trust, openness to truth, wonder and awe at beauty, lack of duplicitousness, and innocence we draw closer to God.  When we live it we bring others closer to God.  When we reform our lives and believe in the gospel (Mark 1:15) we bring the Kingdom one step closer to coming.

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