In Search of Graces Outgrown
“How can there be too many children? That is like saying there are too many flowers.” ~ Saint Teresa of Calcutta
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 19:13-15), we read of the children who were brought to Jesus so that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples however rebuked those who did so, prompting Jesus to say “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Throughout scripture Jesus exhibits his profound love, mercy and generosity for everyone he encountered, even those who despised and thus sought to kill him (Luke 23:34). Yet his love for the children seemed to resonate even more deeply. What did Jesus love so much about children?
Bishop Baron surmises that “children don’t know how to dissemble, how to be one way and act another. They are what they are; they act in accordance with their deepest nature.”
Somewhere along the way, we as adults lose this inherent gift of humble self-awareness. We become far too conscious and at times even obsessed with what people think of us. We no longer naturally look for joy in our everyday tasks and encounters. We cease to think and live simply. We become far too judgmental.
It is true that Paul in I Corinthians 13:11 says “When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” But it is also true that he did not say “When I became a man, I put child-like ways behind me.”
Spend time in Eucharistic Adoration this week contemplating how you too can rediscover the child-like faith that Jesus urges all of us to cultivate and foster. Reflect for instance upon the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Do you believe in miracles? Do you believe that the Priest, by the powerful and mysterious intercession of the Holy Spirit, can turn the simple earthly gifts of bread and wine into the body, blood, soul and divinity of Jesus?” Or in your mind, is this merely a symbolic ritual?
The answer to this and other critical questions pertaining to our faith determines the true makeup of our spiritual DNA. Or as Bishop Fulton J. Sheen once said, “if you don't behave as you believe, you will end up believing as you behave.”
“Dear Jesus, cultivate within us a child-like faith so that we too can encounter you in the unambiguously uncomplicated way that leads to greater wisdom, wonder, and joy.” ~ Amen
“Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the Kingdom.” ~ Matthew 11:25