Have you noticed what happens when you see a small child? We smile at him, we talk to him, we make compliments and sometimes even grimaces! Dad, Mom, Grandpa, Granny, brothers and sisters, the whole family goes out of their way to make him feel good, this little one. We prepare him good food suitable for his age. And the giggles? You know the laughs during hide-and-seek games? It’s fantastic! Ah! These little ones! They take up a lot of space in the house and especially in our hearts. Why all this? But, because of course we love them and want them to be happy. And God, how does he see these tiny little children? Does he care about them; he has so much to do with the adults? This is what we are going to see now as we listen to an episode of the Gospel of Mark; you will find it in chapter 10. At the end of the story, you can answer my question: For what reason was Jesus angry?

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– Look! Look over there, but it’s Jesus! – Yes, it’s him! Let’s go and see Him; we will bring the children for Him to bless them! Joyful at the thought of seeing and talking to Jesus, the children walk quickly. – Oh Mom, we run ahead! We will arrive first! The Moms follow carrying the little ones in their arms. Jesus has just finished talking to a group of men who are just leaving. – Really, we’re arriving at the right time, say the mothers. He is alone with his disciples. We will be able to draw near to him! They hasten the pace; the children are nearly there but the disciples intervene. – What are you doing here? Can‘t you see that you are going to disturb the Master! They frown and even take on a stern expression. – We are talking between grown-ups, you have nothing to do here. Go and play! We don’t want kids here! Turning to the mothers, they reproach them: – Why are you bringing all these children to Jesus? They have nothing to do here, this is no place for children. You should leave them at home! They will disturb the grown-ups, they are too young. Take them home! Come on, go back home! When they are older, they will be able to come back to see Jesus! The smiling mothers’ faces darken. – Oh! How disappointed we are! They say to themselves. We had hoped so much that Jesus would rest his hands on them. The frightened children hide in their dresses and the little ones are scared too and sniff, ready to cry. The Moms are about to leave. But, Jesus, who has seen and heard everything, comes forward. He looks very, very angry. He looks at his disciples and says to – But what are you doing here? Why are you sending them back? Let them come to me and do not try to stop them because the Kingdom of God belongs to little children and to all who are like them. Yes, I do assure you: he who does not receive the Kingdom of God with the simplicity of heart and the trust of a little child will never enter it. The disciples do not know what to say, they bow their heads, sheepishly. They realize they made a huge mistake, because they never thought that Jesus could care about children and that He had come for them as well. Jesus’ face softens and He says to mothers and children: – Come! Get closer! Reassured, the children run to Jesus and gather around Him. They are all happy because they see him close and can touch Him. They have understood that Jesus does not reject them. The Moms approach with their babies. Jesus walks up to them and takes in turns each little child in his arms. He lays his hands on them and He blesses them. The disciples look in astonishment; they have just learned a great lesson: that Jesus also welcomes and blesses little children.

1, 2 3, 4 AND YOU AND ME! Do you remember our question? What was the reason why Jesus got angry? Because the disciples sent away the mothers and their children; they didn’t want them to come near to Him. They still did not understand how much Jesus loves children. Me, I say: “Well done moms! You were right to come and too bad for those who weren’t happy! “. But why do you think they came? Eh yes! Quite simply, because they believed that Jesus loves their children, even the little ones, and that He was going to do them good. And you, do you believe that he loves you and that He wants to bless you? That he loves your little brothers and sisters, if you have got any? I encourage you to approach Him in prayer, to ask Him to bless you. Even if you are very young, He will bless you.

4, 3, 2, 1 AND WE PARENTS! The incident reported in this passage clearly shows that the gospel is good news for children even for those who are very young. So many truths escape them, the main thing is that they understand that Jesus loves them. Our role as parent is to “bring them to Jesus” while taking care not to erect barriers between Him and them, for example by using too complicated language, by excessive rigor, excessive demands that will put them off, or negative words. We often remember verse 14 of the Gospel of Mark chapter 10: “Suffer little children to come to me, and do not prevent them; Because the kingdom of God is for those who are like them”. Jesus has a special love for children and He wants to take charge of their lives. Finally, I send you this little word of encouragement from a pastor to his audience: “give the best of yourselves to the children”.