The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time
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.
Reflection (Sem. Ivan Joseph F. Feniquito)
After reading the Gospel for today, a question came into my mind, “Am I like the disciples preventing the children to come to Jesus?” The Gospel for today invites us to be childlike toward God.
Let us look at the characteristics of a childlike versus a childish person. Are the two having the same meaning? Can we become a childlike and childish towards God? According to Encarta, childish is “immature, showing a lack of adult qualities such as emotional restraint, seriousness, or good sense.” Childish in Filipino is “isip-bata,” an adult person having a mentality of a child. Further, they lack capacity to commit themselves to others. On the other hand, childlike is a person having the good qualities of a child, innocent, and has a pure heart dependent on God. Unlike childish persons, childlike persons can commit themselves to a relationship. They can give themselves to others out of love and compassion.
In the Gospel, Jesus blesses the children. He lets the children come to him and assures them that the Kingdom of God belongs to them. Jesus invites us to have a childlike attitude, to be humble, sorry for our sins, to have a pure heart and to be dependent only on God and not on worldly things.
The Gospel for today challenges us to pastor and lead the children to God while having a childlike attitude. I have an experience of ignoring a child, asking for alms or attention inside the patio of the church. I have avoided him because of the way he looks and smells, but then I realize that maybe next time if I accommodate him with compassion and love, I can give him something, I can lead him to Jesus by teaching and inviting him to pray with me. With these realizations, I hope and pray to be a good evangelizer leading people especially the children, the unfortunate, and unrecognized people in the world.