The Gospel Today
Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
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. Jesus S. Salamanca, Jr.)
Jesus is inviting us to be child-like in the presence of the Father. He said that the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who have the same disposition as a child. What is the characteristic of the child that the Lord is inviting us to emulate? Aside from their innocence, having purity of heart and not keeping grudges one of the characteristics of a child that we need to emulate is being “playful”.
I remember my own experience being playful as a child. I would play the whole day with my cousins and playmates. We did not care about the time. We did not care what we looked like or smelled like after having a whole day playing outdoors. We did not care about the world. What was important to me that time is to play, be happy, and enjoy the moment. Freeing myself from other concerns help me focus on one thing. If, during that time, I occupied my mind with different things and concerns, I might miss the essence of being a child. I learned that this is also true in my relationship with the Lord. To me, another way of looking at the Gospel message is that the Lord wants to play with me. God wanted me to devote my time to Him. Having time with the Lord; setting aside my other concerns and worries is necessary to know God more. “Wasting time” with the Lord is definitely the most precious way of spending time. Wasting time with the Lord will always be counted in Heaven because it is a preparation for having fun in Heaven.
If during the play we get hurt, the Lord is the one who will come before us to take care of us. He knows that we might get hurt or wounded along the way in our journey, but He would take the pain just to secure us and keep us safe. That is, to me, how Jesus becomes a playmate for all of us. He plays with love and he is inviting us to do the same with our neighbor.