He is the most precious gift. He comes to Mass every day with his Mom. During communion, he would be the first to run towards the priest to receive a blessing, and would open his mouth hoping to receive Holy Communion, though he can’t receive it yet. His Mom would say, “Not yet son.” He is four years old, very joyful. His joy and smiles are infectious. He is the delight of all in the Parish.
After Mass one morning, as I was putting out the sacred vessels, he asked me, while touching the flowers at the base of the stone-altar; “Do you have many flowers?”
The volunteer with me admired the little boy whose excitement for the beautiful flowers was as evident as the early morning sun.
“Not really,” I said, “except for the ones that belong to the Church and a few in the rectory.”
The volunteer jumped in, “They are called orchids. Aren’t they beautiful?” She asked.
The kid nodded and took the stage, “In our house, we have many flowers. We have blueberries too. I love flowers.”
As the discussion went on, the innocence of this child was the dominant mood throughout the course of the discussion. Purity and innocence have their unique force and language. They attract. They grip. Innocence is one of the ingredients that make the world a welcome place for all. In a society where basic innocence is lost, people live like the proverbial cat and dog.
Thinking about this child, his innocent candor, his simplicity, unique peaceful and holy bearing, I am drawn to appreciate the Gospel of Mark 10: 13-16.
Jesus said: “Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it’ (Mark 10:14-15).
The child’s world is heavenly because it is pure. Observe how the baby plays with toys and does not seem to know the difference between a toy and a real snake. It’s because of innocence. To the innocent, the world is seen in the light of blessings, not causes. To the innocent, there is more good than evil; in effect, the world for the innocent is Godly. It’s beautiful.
Simplicity is another quality of a child. The child makes choices, not simply because others like them, but because they resonate with her. Her choice may be ridiculous, but she is happy with it. Her sense of preferences isn’t complex. Guess what? The child is not attached to things, even for precious gifts, not too long either, because in the next second, she could forget all about it.
The child knows no guile. She says things as they are perceived by her. Teaching a child to tell lies is a heinous evil. Coerce a child to speak lies and surely you would receive a feedback of the best example of a reported speech, “So and so told me to say this.”
The world of a child is the finest ever; and if we would want to know the easiest way to God, it is allowing our hearts to be molded in that simplicity, honesty, unassuming attitude and guilelessness that would make a home for God. After all, God’s kingdom is where God resides. The kingdom is pure. “Blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God.” Our heart, if like that of a child, is equally a perfect home for God.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Saturday Week 7 Ordinary Time: James 5:13-20, Mark 10:13-16]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.