People were bringing their little children to Jesus to have him touch them, and the disciples rebuked them for this. When Jesus noticed it, He was very angry and said, «Let the children come to me and don't stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it». Then He took the children in his arms and laying his hands on them, blessed them.
The children have this behavioural aptitude of searching the truth and experience it by themselves. It is here we expect the importance of the role the parents who guide them, particularly in the discernment process, so that their children may choose what is best. If parents fail them, particularly in their discernment process, there is a great danger of misinformed and misguided persons in the society.
Today Jesus is inviting each and every of us to become like the children who search for the truth and at the same time assume our responsibility of leading the children towards the author of the truth. Many of us are rightly informed and acquired sufficient knowledge and are not rightly guided to have a good discernment.
Jesus is asking us not only to become like these children, but also act like a responsible adults, who lead these children towards the Truth, God. Since God has created us in His image, we are already inculcated naturally in us these qualities and we have to believe this. The more we are close to God, the more we are close to the truth. And the knowledge of truth about ourselves, and our positive engagement towards accomplishing the divine will, will certainly make us the real children of God, the blessed ones of the Lord.
«Let the children come to me»
Fr. Josep Lluís SOCÍAS i Bruguera
(Badalona, Barcelona, Spain)
Today, children are news. More than ever before, children have a lot to say, even the word “infant” means “he who does not speak”. We can better appreciate that in electronic devices: they know how to switch them on and off, how to use them properly and, even how to teach us, adults, to correctly use them. A noted reporter used to say that, «even if infants do not speak it does not mean they do not think».
In this fragment of Mark's Gospel we find several considerations: «People were bringing their little children to Jesus to have him touch them, and the disciples rebuked them for this» (Mk 10:13). But the Lord, who did not mind relating to everybody, did connect with infants even more so. This is why, «when Jesus noticed it, He was very angry and said, ‘Let the children come to me and don't stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’» (Mk 10:14).
Charity must follow priorities: it begins with the most needy. And, if everybody has the right to approach Jesus, infants are the first ones to enjoy this privilege: «Let the children come to me and don't stop them» (Mk 10:14).
We should realize, however, that when helping the more needy, we happen to be the first ones to benefit of it. This is why the Master warns us: «Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it» (Mk 10:15). And, in correspondence to the simplicity and openness of those children «He took them in his arms and laying his hands on them, blessed them» (Mk 10:16).
We must learn the art of receiving the Kingdom of God. He who is like a child can easily perceive that everything is a gift, a grace. From our smallness we should be open to receive. And, “to receive” God's favour, we must listen and contemplate with “receptive silence”. After St. Ignatius of Antioch, to the Ephesians « It is better for a man to be silent and be [a Christian], than to talk and not to be one. (...) He who possesses the word of Jesus, is truly able to hear even His very silence, that he may be perfect, and may both act as he speaks, and be recognized by his silence».