Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Mt 19:13-15 Let The Children Come To Me

Matthew 19:13-15 Let The Children Come to Me

(Click here for readings)

Jesus loves to love. He loves children. But when he told the disciples, “let the children come to me”, he was doing more than meets the eye. He was teaching his disciples what it takes to be virtuous and holy: instruction and witnessing.


For what purpose were “children brought to Jesus?” To be instructed. That is, to allow the blank pages of their lives to be filled with Christ’s life. It truly pains me to see parents neglect their children’s religious education - denying them their Sunday obligation and the sacraments, especially Reconciliation. Are parents so arrogant as to think that they are enough for their children! Are you all they need? The Lord says, “Let the children come to me.” The Lord comes first, then family, then volleyball, soccer, football, swimming, ballet, piano lessons, ski trips, etc. What the Lord has to say to them on any given Sunday may help them in ways never imagined: from self-image and self-esteem, to serenity and well-being; from handling peer pressure and noticing superficial goals, to healthy friendships and everlasting goals. I have seen with my own eyes the power of God’s word and Reconciliation in the life of children; how it can truly transform them from bad to good; robbers to cops; sinners to saints! Is this not the reason why we have come to believe? “The Lord has done marvelous deeds!” (Ps 98:1).


Children need to be in the presence of holy people, virtuous men and women, individuals of honor and integrity. Children learn best from example. They mimic what they see. They even have one eye on the lookout for hypocrisy. They are not easily fooled. I will never forget the greatest lesson I learned as a young priest in a cafeteria in an Italian school. I grabbed my food, sat down quickly and began to eat. All the children were looking at me. I was starving! All of a sudden it dawned on me that I had forgotten to pray. I gave out a loud gasp, stood right up, and began to pray silently and reverently. I did not rush. The kids sitting next to me were dead silent. They looked around (just with their eyes) at one another and one of them, sitting next to me, leaned over and quietly told me, “You are a real priest.” At that moment I realized that all my preaching, all my classes meant nothing to them unless it was backed up by authentic actions. They were looking for hypocrisy. They may even have been told by their secular parents that priests are hypocrites - the children were just waiting for proof. Thank God the Lord allowed me to witness my faith to them.

The Lord despised religious hypocrites. He must have seen them as a child. The proverb “Fathers have eaten green grapes, thus their children’s teeth are on edge” (Ez 18:2) unfortunately means that children directly suffer from the sins of their parents. There is much truth in this proverb. Addictions, abuse, ignorance, poverty and neglect are often passed down from one generation to the next. How often do we blame our parents for our own problems! However, what I have experienced over and over again is how children can literally transform their parents from one day to the next, from immature beings to mature adults, and set their lives straight even from the moment they are born! Children are truly a blessing from the Lord. Are we surprised? Did not the Lord say, “All lives are mine?” Many times, they are a last resort from God that saves a teenage mom! The mom only needs to let her children come to her.

Heavenly Father, you instruct us to be more like children; to come to you with an open mind, heart and arms so as to lead us to the Truth, the fullness of Life and into the arms of your Son. Help us to be more like you, to raise our children as you raised your Son. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. AMEN Father!

    I can testify to that.
    I got married at 18 to escape.
    (jumped from frying pan into fire)
    Was a mother at 19.
    Was a single mom at 21.

    I was not rebellious, in trouble, didn't do drugs or alcohol, followed the rules and not even pregnant when I got married, but I lacked self-esteem and self love.

    My daughter literally saved my life. She was all I lived for. Had I not had her, I might have committed suicide.

    I spent her entire life working to end the abuse, neglect, this generation. I don't know if I was successful yet, but it's not for lack of trying.

    We are not called to be successful, we are called to be faithful...Mother Teresa of Calcutta

    By the way, I told both of my, no adult daughters that they are not allowed to marry into a 'crazy' family. We'll see how that pans out!

    Yes, children are a GIFT FROM GOD and sometimes a LIFE ROPE!


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