Father Steven Reilly, LC
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.
Lord God, I believe in your presence here with
me as I begin this moment of prayer. I hope
in you. I know that you will always take
care of me. I want this time with you to
be a sign of my love for you. I
seek only to please you, without desiring any spiritual consolation
Petition: Lord, help me to be faithful
in carrying out the commitments of my state of
1. Bringing the Children to Jesus: Being a parent
is a lofty vocation. To be entrusted with the integral
formation and eternal salvation of another human being is
a task that is enough to make one dissolve
into fear and trembling. Above all, parents have to show
the good spiritual instincts of the people in today’s
Gospel: They have to bring their children to Jesus.
They need to teach them to pray, to go to
Mass and above all, to learn that Jesus truly
is their best friend with whom they can share
everything. What a gift to give to children!
2. “Do Not
Prevent Them”: There are many ways to hinder a
child’s path to Christ. Our bad example is one of
the main ones. Children pick up on the incoherence
between our admonitions and our actual behavior. It’s particularly
unnerving when a parent begins to see his own
defects mirrored in his children. That can serve as a
warning call that we need to be living the
Christian life with more authenticity. Our example needs to
be a catalyst towards the good.
3. The Kingdom of Heaven
Belongs to Such as These: A good Catholic parent has
only one true bottom-line aspiration for his kids: that
they get to heaven! This is worth all the prayers,
sacrifices and late nights. Precisely because the Kingdom is
where they belong, parents should have immense confidence that
the Lord will send them the graces they need
to persevere and carry out their mission effectively. Christ is
the parent’s biggest cheerleader! He wants nothing more than
that happy reunion in heaven, where the parent will
hear those wonderful words from his child, “Thanks for
helping me to get here.”
Conversation with Christ:
Lord Jesus, thank you for my parents, and all
they did to help me grow in the faith. I
am sorry for the times I judged them harshly.
Grant them your abundant blessing.
Resolution: I will
say a special prayer for my parents (especially if
deceased) and give them a call to thank them.