August 14, 2021 - Let the Children Come - A Reflection on Matthew 19:13-15

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.

Today’s reflection is especially for married people with children, but I am sure that we can all gain a few insights from it. I know you care about your kids, and most of you will do pretty much anything to ensure that they are happy and successful in life. Consequently, you give them a good education, enroll them for dance or music lessons, get them involved in sports, and a host of other things. Isn’t that correct? 

There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this, but here is something for you to think about. Among all these activities that you have so carefully organized for your child to grow them physically, intellectually and emotionally, is there anything involving you do to grow them spiritually. Typically, the answer is no. And if asked why, again typically the answer is that, what with all these activities,  there isn’t any time.

Then when your child is 16 or 17 and has turned to drugs or alcohol and strayed so far away from God there doesn’t seem to be any return, you wonder why. The answer should be obvious: God was nowhere on your list of priorities in the development of your child. Everything else took precedence. Know what I’m saying?

What we also fail to realize is that we will be held accountable for this. In today’s reading we hear Jesus saying, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." When we don’t help our children grow spiritually, we actually prevent them from going to Jesus, and I don’t think that would make him very happy.

It is still not too late to change things. If your children are still young — and still listen to you — make God a priority in their lives. With the blessings that come automatically from being in the presence of God, everything else they do will become easier, and with the peace and joy that comes from Jesus, there is a good chance that they will be spared much of the angst most children go through these days.

Isn’t that worth something?