We sometimes romanticize the picture of people bringing children to Jesus. The people in this story are women with infants or small children, the bottom of the social pecking order. Being in a place where women and children did not belong, undoubtedly they got in the disciples’ way. Jesus, however, faithful to the Torah, teaches them that children are important and invites the parents to bring their children to him.
Bringing our children to Jesus means teaching our children the ways of Jesus. Jesus talked more about building the kingdom of God here on earth-the ways of peace, the ways of distributive justice-than anything else. Bringing our children to Jesus is to invite them into this journey of faith that aligns itself with God’s dream for the world.
What would our world look like if we all refused to pass on our prejudices to the next generation and, instead, modeled for them the radically inclusive ways of Jesus? How would this bring healing to our world? This is the blessing that Jesus wants for our children-and all children.
Compassionate God, your love for our world is endless. Grant us the grace to be as open as children on our life's journey. Amen. — MW