Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.- Jesus
Sunday’s readings were all about marriage and family, featuring the always-popular story of Adam and Eve. You know, where Eve was made from the rib of Adam. Whatevah!
But since yesterday’s readings all dealt with family, it was no surprise that the gospel reading was Mark’s story about Jesus’ outlook on divorce. Wow, man. That one always makes me squirm. That’s because I’m divorced. Sure, my marriage was annulled by the Catholic church. As such, Bill and I were able to be married in a Catholic ceremony and are able to fully practice our faith. But I’m really just like my friends who are divorced. At the end of the day, the annulment is just a piece of paper. Or so I believe.
I don’t have any specific spiritual enlightenment about divorce. In fact, I’m only telling you this so that you know that Denial is not just a river in Egypt. As the deacon read the gospel, I just put my hands over my ears and said, “La, la, la,” figuratively speaking. I did, however, hear the part in our priest’s homily where he said not to judge those who are divorced and to love all of our brothers and sisters, just as our pope has recently preached.
But I happily listened to the final paragraph of yesterday’s gospel where Mark tells us that people were bringing their children to Jesus, and his disciples tried to prevent the kids from seeing him. Says Mark: 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.
Recently I was babysitting the cousins, and for various reasons, they were getting put to bed considerably later than usual. Because of this, I quietly elected to tuck them in without a book or prayers, thinking they would then be asleep sooner. I turned off the light and began closing the door. Suddenly, Maggie Faith says to me, “Nana, we didn’t say our prayers.” Well then.
So I went over to her bed and she closed her eyes and folded her hands and said (almost as quickly as those ads you hear on the radio with the disclosures that the product they are advertising doesn’t actually work), “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, angels watch me through the night and wake me with the morning light. God bless, Mommy, Daddy, Addie, Alastair, Dagny, Grandma, Busia, Nana, and Papa. Help me have a good day tomorrow and let me have the best dreams ever. Amen.
But I thought about Magnolia while contemplating yesterday’s gospel. The simple faith of children. That’s what we all should have. Why do we make it so hard?
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