Gospel: (Mark 10:2-16) People were bringing children to him 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 hand on them.
Reflection: The disciples had been with Jesus and heard his teaching for quite some time but they developed a hardness of heart, and so Jesus became indignant. This gospel is about human hardness of hearts and about to whom the kingdom of God belongs; not to those with hard hearts, but to the innocent ones who keep themselves turned toward God. Jesus illustrates this by saying—“accept the kingdom of God like a child.” Anything else he might have said to his disciples was not recorded; but we might surmise that he was saying we must lose our hardness of hearts by being open and accepting like little children, by being innocent like children, by being trusting like children, by not picking up the sinful baggage that develops as we grow into and live adulthood. We must lose our schema of things so we can find God’s intention. Lose the hardness of heart. Find the kingdom. Our embracing the kingdom embodies our being embraced by Jesus. (Living Liturgy, p.220)
Vincentian Meditation: Simplicity is “the virtue I love most.” In St. Vincent’s eyes, Jesus is utterly simple—like a child. He speaks the truth. He says things as they are. His intentions are pure, referring all things in life to God. To St. Vincent, simplicity meant genuineness and transparency. Vincent always knew that all good comes from God and he acknowledged his own limitedness and sinfulness. Vincent lived with an exuberant confidence in God’s forgiveness and love.” (Maloney, Go! On the Missionary Spirituality of St. Vincent, pp. 131-132)
Has a “hardness of heart” crept into our lives of service?