Saturday 26 February 2022 – Let the children come to me

7th Week in Ordinary Time

1st Reading: Jas 5:13-20

Beloved: Is anyone among you suffering? He should pray. Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing a song of praise. Is anyone among you sick? He should summon the presbyters of the Church, and they should pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. The prayer of faith will save the sick person, and the Lord will raise him up. If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful. Elijah was a man like us; yet he prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain upon the land. Then Elijah prayed again, and the sky gave rain and the earth produced its fruit. My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you should stray from the truth and someone bring him back, he should know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.       

Gospel: Mk 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.

Let the children come to me: Children were brought to Jesus as it was normal for the Jewish mothers to take their children to a well known Rabbi to be blessed. The disciples thought that they were doing him a favour to prevent children to crowd over him. So, they rebuked them. Nevertheless, Jesus becomes indignant at their actions and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them.” He embraced them and blessed them. He made use of the opportunity to instruct the disciples that the condition to enter the Kingdom of God is to accept it like a child. It is not the innocence of the children that is recommended here, rather their humility, trust and above all lack of self-complacency. What the parent gives, the children receive with trust, not as their right or merit. It is this attitude of receiving not as a right or merit but as a free gift, that Jesus praises as the necessary condition to enter the Kingdom of God.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, give me the grace to be like a child, and accept the Kingdom of God as your free gift to me.


OUR HAPPINESS IS IN OUR INNOCENCE: Why does Jesus propose that we be like little children? Children are generally simple. They seek not beyond what is necessary for their happiness. They share their lives because they know no other way to live it. They abandon themselves to those they trust because their world is as big as their loved ones. They have no deception in the innocence of their being. Unfortunately, with the passage of time, as they interact with the adults in their life, their sense of right and wrong is corrupted and their innocence defiled. The trust of parents in their little children mirrors the trust of God in us. Despite knowledge that we can be erratic in what we do and how we administer to his creation, God still entrusts the created reality to the human person. Our happiness lies in our innocence. It is imperative that we learn to submit to his laws and ordinances. The defiance of the human nature has been responsible for many hurts and tears. Today’s crises of climate change, warfare, terrorism, corruption, slavery and degradation of the poor are the evidences of the impact of loss of innocence. Children know no race, tribe or social strata. They are simply happy to be children. We must learn to be happy to be human among humans.