August 17, 2013

The Gospel Today

Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Mt. 19: 13-15

Children were brought to Jesus
that he might lay his hands on them and pray.
The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said,
“Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them;
for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

Reflection (Sem. Ernesto Sican):

Jesus  reminds us that children have a special place in the eyes of God. What is so special with the children?   In the eyes of a child, you cannot see lies, masks or pretensions. The look of a child is pure innocence. A child is no other than what it is. An Adult on the other hand, is able to be one thing and pretend to be another. There is dichotomy in his words and actions. He masters the art of deception.

However, experience tells us that some children today are not as innocent as they used to be. Children from previous generations seem to preserve their innocence than the children of today. Why?   Maybe because adults in a way corrupted the innocence of children in many ways.

First, when grown-ups punish a child for telling the truth, for revealing his thoughts and feelings. As a result a child loses his spontaneity.  Soon the child will grow up saying “I do not know who I am” because having hidden the truth about himself from others, he ends up hiding it from himself.

Second, when a child is infected by the desire to become somebody. People are striving to become, not what nature intended them to be but to be somebody: to become successful, famous, powerful; something that will bring not really self-fulfillment but self-glorification and self – expansion.

Third, when grown-ups teach a child to imitate someone. The moment you make the child a carbon copy, you force him to lose his individuality. The moment you choose to become like someone else you have prostituted your being. Soon you will end up being a conformist not only in actions and thoughts but even in your reactions, emotions, attitudes and values.

Fourth, when you compete and compare yourself with others.  Competing and comparing yourself with others force you to exchange your simplicity for the ambition of wanting to be as good as someone else or even better. You enter the world of adults whose lives are spent not in living but in looking for applause and admiration, striving for empty things called success and fame even if they can be attained only at the expense of others.

I do not totally blame the adults in this regard for they too are victims of their past. I just want to increase our awareness of the important role of adults in the development of children. That is why it is good to be reminded that the Gospel challenges us to reclaim once more the innocence of a child which we once possessed – to be childlike and not to be childish. It invites us to a live a good and joyful life, a life of freedom. Let us allow God to took us in his arms and bless us as he did to the little children.

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