A July Faith Formation Series – Part IV – APOSTOLIC
July 29, 2016
NOTES FROM DEACON PAREJA
November 16, 2019
"Amen, Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child, will not enter it.”
October 9, 2018
Jesus spoke these words to his disciples as they we trying to keep the children gathered with the crowd from “bothering” Jesus. Interesting that even in a very ordinary life experience, Jesus recognized another opportunity to teach. This teaching is one we all recognize as many images and other works of art have depicted the loving Jesus surrounded by the children, on his lap, at his feet, obviously desiring to be close to him. Have you ever thought about the words Jesus spoke and what he might have intended us to learn from them?
What does it mean to “accept the kingdom of God like a child”? Certainly children are trusting, in many ways naïve, meaning they don’t think they know all things. They are open; they approach with curiosity and without fear. Children desire to be with those who offer them kindness and love. They are not weighed down (yet) with world views or doubts and fear, rather they are open, innocent and pure in their thoughts and desires.
We have to ask ourselves, do I accept the kingdom of God in that way? Do I fully trust what Jesus has told us? Do I have a desire to draw close to him? Does doubt or fear of any sort keep me from wanting to be held lovingly in the arms of Jesus? Maybe I feel like “I’m not good enough or deserving enough” to accept the promise of the kingdom. What keeps me from being that child who is drawn to the love of Jesus?
These beautiful words of Sacred Scripture call us to ponder and wonder, to take time to discern our relationship with Jesus, to examine how we personally accept what Jesus teaches. Can I be open like a child to accept the gift of the love of God? How inviting and comforting it is to know that Jesus invites us to set aside all of life’s responsibilities, it’s hardships, trials and fear and simply bask in his loving embrace and live in love in his kingdom.
Let us carry that image with us this week and allow ourselves to be like a child in regard to accepting what Jesus offers us all in the kingdom of God; his love, his protection, his friendship for all time.