Today’s Thoughts: In reading today Gospel, we are reminded of how truly dependent children are and about the wonderful freedom and joy that they derive from that dependence. In the Gospel Jesus is trying to help the disciples see two points with respect to allowing children to come to him. The first is to connect his care for the children with his ministry thus far. He had been curing people who are vulnerable, helpless or weak: a demoniac, a deaf man, a blind man and a Gentile woman’s daughter. And now, by welcoming and blessing the children, he is involving with another group who shared the same characteristics.
The second point is that Jesus is helping his disciples understand that to truly follow him they must become essentially dependent upon him.
In our first reading today from James, we can hear James appeal to his readers to become dependent on our Lord. If you are suffering, pray to God and depend on God to grant you the grace you need to get through the suffering. If you are in good spirits, pray to God and give praise, recognizing that your joy is the fruit from your dependence on God. If you have sinned, pray to God for forgiveness and depend on God’s merciful grace so that you will be at peace with God again.
Both our readings today remind us that dependence on Jesus is overwhelmingly beneficial. Jesus is hoping that his disciples will connect with memories of their own childhoods as well as with the reality of the children right in from of them. Children are completely dependent on their parents for everything that they need, their health, for being loved, for food and for being protected. Because they are so dependent, they are free to enjoy each moment of their day. Each day is filled with discovery, with the joy of being with others, with no worries about anything else. And because of this, they can feel deeply joyful; they can go through their day and get ready to sleep with nothing left on their minds to worry about. They can begin and end each day in peace.
Jesus invites us to do the same. When we are physically, emotionally or spiritually suffering, he invites us to be dependent on him. In a way, our suffering can free us from our day-to-day worries. Some of these seem quite small when we are in pain. And by freeing us up, by unblocking our day to day worries we find room to focus on Jesus, in other words, to become dependent upon Jesus. When we are able to do this, we are assured by Jesus that our one step toward him will be met with an incredible amount of steps by him toward us. As we become more dependent upon Jesus, we will feel his unconditional grace that he is constantly sharing. We will find more joy and more peace in our lives.
Have a great Saturday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...