A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew 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: "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
Do you remember a shape-sorting toy that young children play with to learn the names of shapes? The circle can only fit in the round opening, the triangle can only slip through the three-sided hole, etc. I suspect this shape-sorting toy is like heaven. The Kingdom of Heaven can only fit or let in the holy ones through the narrow gate. If you don’t “fit”, you don’t get in.
Jesus is letting us know the value of being like a child. The children come ready to love and be loved. They are not tainted by the ways of men, but hold a heart full of innocence and purity. The children are totally dependent on their parents and trustingly look up to them. Can we put ourselves inside the mind of a child and look to God this way? Are we totally dependent on God and trust Him with our lives as we should?
Our world has increasingly adopted the ways of men instead of placing our trust in God. The value of children has decreased to the point of being a nuisance or an inconvenience, resulting in the death of millions of babies. Their lives are literally thrown away. The pro-abortion movement values self over God and pride over humility. These ideas can never lead us to the Kingdom of Heaven.
Let us pray for the world to begin valuing children and shaping ourselves, via the leadership of the church’s shepherds, to fit through the narrow gate.