March 1, 2014

The Gospel Today

Saturday of the Seventh Week in Ordinary Time

Mark 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. Eldrick S. Peña):

“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

     Being with children has always delighted me in many ways.  Their smiles and giggles are already enough to brighten up my day.  Children are innocent, playful, honest, obedient and trusting especially of those people who take care of them.  On the contrary, there are also times when children are considered as burden, an additional mouth to feed, worthless and they are not given the love and affection that they deserve.  Reflecting on these images of the child, I realized that these qualities are those that a person who seeks the kingdom of heaven should possess.

     Innocence, honesty and obedience and also a sense of worthlessness are characteristics of a person who seeks to follow Christ.  In order to inherit the kingdom, we should possess child-like simplicity and humility – this attitude of total dependence and reliance on God and His merciful love.  This sense of worthlessness in front of our God – that humble admittance that in front of our creator, we are nothing.  It is only God Himself who brings meaning and dignity to our existence.  Our life only becomes meaningful and worth living through Him.

     We need to develop this child-like attitude of surrender and total dependence on God.  I particularly had experienced this as a priest in process.   When I resigned from work two years ago, I lifted up to God all my concerns and worries – my family, my career, basically my whole being.  Even the cost of my stay in the seminary for six years, I offered to God.  I just took the plunge without really knowing what lies ahead of me.  Surprisingly, God is really a God who provides.  Ever since I made that crucial decision to follow Him through the path of priesthood, I never really lacked in provisions – although there are times that provision seems to be not enough, it is still able to sustain my needs.  I am also confident that God takes care of my family in my absence and this is enough assurance for me to feel secure and at peace.  In letting go of my insecurities, I found the greatest security in God.  Such decision can only be arrived at with a childlike attitude and disposition.

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