From the question of divorce conceded because of Israel’s “hardness of heart,” attention is now focused on the children brought to Jesus. The children symbolize receptivity that marks those that enter the Kingdom of God. Still young to assume adult responsibility, they are still dependent on the adults. They receive what they need as a gift. They become adults through reception that is offered them. They are open to be taught.
The disciples rebuke those bringing the children to Jesus. They feel superior and are arrogant— which makes receptivity impossible. Jesus warns them that if they do not have the openness of children, they will not be part of the Kingdom.
The scene closes with Jesus putting his arms around a child, blessing it, and placing his hands on it. He takes the lowliest in society into his arms, demonstrating that the greatest of all is the servant of all, even of the most lowly (Mk 9:35-37).
FIRST READING • Jas 5:13-20
Beloved: 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.
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 them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2022,” ST. PAULS, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 632-895-9701; Fax 632-895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.