Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
At times the requirements to enter the Kingdom of God seem complex or daunting. Jesus, always eager to bless us and bring us to his Kingdom, teaches his disciples that innocence will always enter the Kingdom, and that wanting, really wanting to enter it will bring us there. We are not innocent, but what takes the place of innocence is our always trying, and our always asking for help in things we know are unattainable by our own efforts.
As we know from so much human endeavor, nothing happens unless we really, really want it. The disciples made a mistake: they failed to realize that Jesus wants to bless everyone, even though it is the least person wanting to come to him. As the Psalmist says: let those who hope in you not be stopped by me, O Lord God!
—John Kilgallen, SJ, a Chicago-Detroit province Jesuit, is emeritus professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.
Lord, as we move throughout our day, help us to approach relationships and situations with the confidence that you are our Father and we are your children. If every person we see, talk with, correspond to, or read about is equally your child, then a sacred bond connects us to that person. Help us to be mindful of this truth particularly when we need a little more patience, understanding, or truth-telling.
—The Jesuit Prayer Team