Saint John Bosco Saint Jean Bosco

“Let the little children come to me, do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to those like them.”
Sunday 29 January 2017

Ph.4,4-9 Ps.33 Mk.10,13-16

Saint John Bosco 31st January

“People presented children to Jesus so he would place his hands on them; but the disciples were adamant in pushing them away.” Jesus gives a teaching about how to become disciples. It is so refreshing to see Jesus welcoming children in a way that is full of life. Following Jesus, Saint John Bosco founded institutes to take charge of children in a respectful way full of love.  When confronted with the pride and pretention of the twelve disciples Jesus had already showed how much he was attached to the world of childhood. He shows his disciples how much children are the model and of how to welcome God’s Kingdom. Those who present to Jesus these children wish to obtain from him a gesture of a blessing. We contemplate Jesus welcoming the children brought to him by their mother’s love. He kisses them, blesses them and imposes his hands on them.  God is revealed in this welcoming of children, in blessings and the imposition of hands. It is quite obvious that Jesus puts these children in the first place. He doesn’t hesitate to say that the Kingdom will be found in welcoming them, enveloping them with love. Jesus is the Beloved Child of the Father and of Mary, he brings his disciples into this place of Love, he is always placing us into his intimacy. It is in this place of intimacy and love that the Holy Spirit is given. When Jesus kisses little children, blessing them and imposing his Hands the Holy Spirit is at work. Like the Apostles, we might think that there are more important things to be done! “When Jesus saw this he became angry and told them : ’Let the little children come to me, do not prevent them from doing so, for the Kingdom of God belongs tot hose who are like them.” We may find the hostility of the disciples very shocking, and rightly so. At the time of Jesus, children are objects of despise for adults. They are placed in the row of ’the excluded’, las are the sick, women and slaves. Jesus s deeply struck by their attitude, ’Seeing this, Jesus became angry.’ Children, like other ’excluded people’ have their place in the Kingdom. Children and ’those who are like them’ benefit from the Kingdom of God, says Jesus. The holy Spirit is the link between the Heart of Jesus and the heart of these children. He is truly there, and children make no mistake, in this gesture of love they recognise him. They need their mother and father to kiss them, like this they receive God’s revealing Love for them. Everything we do for children keeps our heart on level of love. God is ever at work in his tenderness and mercy. “Amen, I tell you : whoever does not welcome the Kingdom of God as they do, will not enter in.”  A child is first of all someone ’poor’, he is someone completely dependant upon another person. He is the living sign of a great capacity of listening and trust. The great availability of the child is an example for believers. Very solemnly Jesus declares that we need to become ’little’ if we are to welcome God’s Kingdom. Jesus forms his disciples to be humble. The little ones, the poor and the excluded are at the heart of community life. In his Agony, Jesus says these words with n infinite tenderness : ’Abba, Daddy.’ In their state of disarray and lacks, the poor always place us in that place where Jesus is in agony. A child calls an adult to love and in his vulnerability he is gift of this love. A child is at the source, he receives from the source of Love and he gives back the gift of love. ’The Kingdom of God belongs to those like them’ says Jesus. We are in a Trinitarian movement, Jesus, the Beloved of the Father remains in his Bosom, the Holy Spirit is the revelation of this Love.

We remain in the grace of their littleness, in the tenderness and joy of God.