Let the Children Come to Me
By Greg Zambrano
In Matthew 19:13-15, the blessing of the children is discussed.
“Then children were brought to him 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.”
At times, I think of this Gospel reading and, first of all, since it mentions children, parents really need to heed this lesson.
By saying, “Let the children come to me,” Jesus is calling all parents to bring their children to him. It is a direct call, a strong reminder to bring them – always bring them – to him at all stage of their lives.
Bring the children to him for baptism when they are infants.
Bring the children to Mass even though they are tiny and do not understand the Mass, and even though they misbehave, and you will not be able to listen or understand to a single thing that the priest is saying.
We have a responsibility as parents to bring up spiritually mature Catholics, so let us bring our children to him every Holy Sunday to Mass, so they may have eternal life.
The Lord says in Matthew to “Bring them to me,” so Mass is where we bring them to receive him in the Most Holy Eucharist.
We honor “bring them to me” when we guide our children to receive the Holy Spirit in the sacrament of confirmation.
Interpreting Matthew’s passage further, I hear Jesus’ voice telling me, “Bring them to me when they fall, and I will clean them up” in the sacrament of reconciliation.
Jesus says do not prevent them from going to him. Since children cannot drive themselves to Mass, if we as parents don’t take them, we are preventing them from meeting him.
When they are all grown up, they will go to him on their own because we have brought them to him.
In the long run, the children are teaching me. They are the model to look up to. They are the standard of purity to enter the kingdom of heaven. It is really amazing because they look up to us as parents to teach them about the world and, at the same time, we must look up to them to learn about heaven.
Jesus desires to see us and bless us. May both children and adults, the entire family run to him.
Let’s not keep him waiting.