Let the Children Come to Me

First Reading: James 5:13-20

Is anyone among you suffering?
He should pray.
Is anyone in good spirits?
He should sing a song of praise.
Is anyone among you sick?
He should summon the presbyters of the Church,
and they should pray over him
and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.
The prayer of faith will save the sick person,
and the Lord will raise him up.
If he has committed any sins, he will be forgiven.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another
and pray for one another, that you may be healed.
The fervent prayer of a righteous person is very powerful.
Elijah was a man like us;
yet he prayed earnestly that it might not rain,
and for three years and six months it did not rain upon the land.
Then Elijah prayed again, and the sky gave rain
and the earth produced its fruit.

My brothers and sisters,
if anyone among you should stray from the truth
and someone bring him back,
he should know that whoever brings back a sinner
from the error of his way will save his soul from death
and will cover a multitude of sins.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 141:1-2, 3 AND 8

R. (2a) Let my prayer come like incense before you.
O LORD, to you I call; hasten to me;
hearken to my voice when I call upon you.
Let my prayer come like incense before you;
the lifting up of my hands, like the evening sacrifice.
R. Let my prayer come like incense before you.
O LORD, set a watch before my mouth,
a guard at the door of my lips.
For toward you, O God, my LORD, my eyes are turned;
in you I take refuge; strip me not of life.
R. Let my prayer come like incense before you.

Gospel: Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them,
but the disciples rebuked them.
When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them,
“Let the children come to me; do not prevent them,
for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.
Amen, I say to you,
whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child
will not enter it.”
Then he embraced the children and blessed them,
placing his hands on them.



I spend my workdays surrounded by little children. I am responsible for 28 little people who range in age from two and a half to six and a half years old. (And if you know anything about children, you know that those half years matter a lot to them.)

The First Reading is so characteristic of the natural behavior among children. Countless times I’ve witnessed the empathy of a child towards another child’s sadness or suffering by laying on a hand in a gesture of comfort or offering a simple prayer to God around the prayer table. If another child is sick, a friend will go call for help. And children naturally sing little songs when they are in good spirits, giving praise and delight to God with their sweet voices. It is so delightful to hear the little songs that children sing (and often make up) when they are happy.

Children are fantastic beings.

It amazes me that each of us began like that, as a little child. And somehow in the process of growing up we forget. We forget that we began as a child, and we forget that deep inside that is who we are. We are children of God. In all the stress of “adulting” we seem to have forgotten our deepest identity.

You are a child of God.

Don’t forget who you are.

Today let the child of your heart come to Jesus. Let Him embrace you, lay His hands on you and bless you. May your prayer, suffering and song be like that of a little child. In this way, you will enter the Kingdom of God. (By the way, it belongs to you.)

How can you you turn to the Lord as a little child today and allow Him to embrace you and bless you?

photo credit

Mary Catherine Craige is a lover of creativity and learning new things. When she is not guiding the development of young children through Montessori methods, you can find her behind her harp, taking an art class, or writing. You can find out more about her here.

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