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Gospel text (Mt 19,13-15):
Little children were brought to Jesus that He might lay his hands on them with a prayer. But the disciples scolded those who brought them. Jesus then said, "Let them be! Do not stop the children from coming to me, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to people such as these". So Jesus laid his hands on them and went his way.
"Little children were brought to Jesus that He might lay his hands on them with a prayer"
Today, we are given to contemplate a scene that, unfortunately, is a very real one now-a-days: "Little children were brought to Jesus that He might lay his hands on them with a prayer. But the disciples scolded those who brought them" (Mt 19:13). Children are especially loved by Jesus; but we, with our typical and characteristic reasoning of “adult people”, do not let them get close to Jesus and to the Father: —When they grow up, if they wish, they will choose...! What a great mistake!
The poor ones, that is, those needy, those who have nothing, are the object of a special predilection by the Lord. And children, infants, are indeed very “poor”. They are poor in age; they are poor in formation... They are defenseless. This is why, the Church —our “Mother”— has decided that parents should bring their children as soon as possible to the baptism, so that the Saint Spirit may inhabit in their souls and they may join the warmth of the community of believers. This is how it is stated by the Catechism of the Catholic Church as well as by the Code of Canon Law, legislators of a maximum rank of the Church (which, as any other community, must have its own legislation).
But no! when they are grown up! This way to proceed is a piece of nonsense. Otherwise, we can ask ourselves: —What will this child eat? What his mother will give him without specifying what he would prefer. —Or, what language will the child speak? The same as his parents (in other words, the child will never be able to choose any other language). —Which school will this child attend to? Wherever his parents will decide to take him, without waiting for him to define which studies will he prefer...
—What did Jesus eat? What his Mother, Mary, gave him. —What language did Jesus speak? His parents'. —What religion did Jesus Infant learn and practice? That of his parents, Judaism. Afterwards, as an adult, thanks to the formation his parents had given him, He founded a new religion... But, first, that of his parents, naturally.
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)
Audio: Saturday 19th in Ordinary Time
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