People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.
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.
Today is the memorial of St. Philip Neri, a contemporary of St. Ignatius of Loyola. St. Philip is a great teacher of what it means to “receive the Kingdom of God as a little child,” as Jesus exhorts in today’s Gospel passage. It is said of St. Philip that he used to pray every morning, “Lord, keep your hand on me throughout this day, so that I do not fall into sinning.” Whenever he heard news of someone having committed a crime, he was accustomed to say, “Thank God that I have not done worse.”
St. Ignatius said that God wants us to learn not to build a nest on anything other than God. St. Philip was never deceived into thinking that he could achieve holiness through his own efforts or knowledge. Rather, like a child, he depended wholly on God’s grace to sustain, defend, and perfect him.
—Jason LaLonde, SJ is a member of the USA Central and Southern Province who will be ordained a priest on June 9. His first assignment as a priest will be to Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Albuquerque, NM.
To Know and Love Jesus
My Lord Jesus, I want to love You but You cannot trust me.
If You do not help me, I will never do any good.
I do not know You; I look for You but I do not find You.
Come to me, O Lord.
If I knew You, I would also know myself.
If I have never loved You before, I want to love You truly now.
I want to do Your will alone; putting no trust in myself, I hope in You, O Lord.
—St. Philip Neri