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Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Another Spiritual Reading for Advent: Christmas Is Especially for Children
Another Spiritual Reading for Advent: Christmas Is Especially for Children PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - The Daily B.R.E.A.D.
Sunday, 21 December 2008 17:45

“Spiritual Childhood” is becoming like children before God. St. Mark tells us that they were bringing children to him, that he might touch them; and the disciples rebuked them (Mark 10:13).

 

Behind those children we can see their mothers gently pushing their little ones in front of them. Jesus must have created around himself an atmosphere of goodness and attractive simplicity. The mothers feel glad to see Jesus blessing their children and edged closer to him.

 

The conflict between these women and the disciples, who were obviously concerned to keep some sort of order in the throng, is the prologue to a profoundly significant lesson from Christ. In the midst of the striving and pushing forward of some and the resultant protests of those who want them to take the children away, Jesus takes the disciples to task. He is happy to be with these little ones. "Let the children come to me; do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands upon them" (Mark 10:14-16). The children and their mothers had gained the day and went home happy.

 

We have to approach Bethlehem with the dispositions of children – simply, that is, without prejudice and with our souls wide open to grace. More than that, it is necessary to become completely child-like in order to enter the kingdom of heaven: Unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:3), Our Lord says on another occasion, as he places a little one in their midst.

 

Our Lord is not recommending childishness, but innocence and simplicity. He sees in children traits and attitudes that are essential in anyone if he is to gain heaven, and, even in this life, if he is to enter the kingdom of faith. A child is devoid of even the slightest feeling of self-sufficiency. It is in constant need of its parents, and knows it. A child is fundamentally a being in need, and this is what a Christian should be before his Father God, a being in total need. A child lives fully in the present and nothing more. The adult’s less-admirable predisposition is to look restlessly to the future, ignoring the here and now, the present moment, which ought to be lived to the full. # # #

 

With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore.com (info@totusbookstore.com)

 

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Last Updated on Sunday, 21 December 2008 17:46
 

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