Heart of a Child

Homily for Tuesday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time

One of the things that I love about being a priest is getting to spend time with our children and our young people. Each Sunday after Mass, I love when all the kiddos come up to me and give me a high-five or a fist bump. Some of the questions they ask and the conversations that we have around those questions are even better. There is an innocence to their faith that is so intriguing to me. It often makes me wish that all of us had that innocence and fascination with learning about Jesus. The eyes of faith that children see with is something that all of us should seek to reclaim. I think that is the message of our Gospel this morning.

Jesus says to us: “unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven.” With this command, the Lord is trying to tell His disciples and all of us that in order for us to walk down the path of discipleship, if we truly want to follow the plan that He has for our lives, we must be humble, we must have an innocence to our faith. We must have a sense of awe and wonder about who Jesus is and how He wants to work in our lives.

In a moment of prayer today, I encourage you to sit more deeply with this Gospel passage. Put yourself in the scene and let the Lord use your imagination to show you something more poignant. Allow yourself to be one of the children seeking to be with Jesus. What draws you to the Lord? Is it His smile, His words, His appearance, His attitude? How does He look at you? Is He sitting next to you, holding you, or walking alongside you? What do you say to Him? Do you ask Him questions or tell Him about your day or tell Him a joke? What does He say to you in response?

The Lord wants us to have an encounter with Him where we are children before Him. He wants us to reclaim that sense of innocence, that sense of wonder, that sense of awe and adoration. Let’s ask Him to reclaim those things today. May we be drawn ever more deeply into His love for us so that we can experience true freedom before Him, so that we can experience true joy in the presence of our Savior.

Image: Christ Blessing Little Children, Charles Lock Eastlake. Used under Public Domain.

Published by Fr. Tom Pringle

Priest of the Diocese of Orlando. Parochial Vicar at Holy Family Catholic Church, Orlando.

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