21 May 2016
We’d be hard-pressed to find a child who doesn’t enjoy receiving a gift. There are even some adults who still enjoy opening up the unknown. And that sheer enjoyment of “the gift” is where Jesus wants to take us.
Now, as we saw, Jesus was getting annoyed with the disciples. And that’s because they were being too “stiff;” they were being “party poopers.” They were getting in the way of the kids being able to open their present: the Kingdom of God. And not only that, the disciples were even preventing themselves from receiving the children as gifts from God. And so Jesus was getting annoyed.
Yesterday, we recalled how “kind and merciful” the Lord is. And he is. Even when’s he getting upset with his disciples, it’s out of kindness and mercy and love. He wants the disciples—he wants us—to receive the Kingdom of God as the gift that it is. In his mercy, Jesus says: “Here’s the Kingdom of God! I’m giving it to you—don’t be shy, come on up and take it into your heart. It’s a gift from God to you.”
All we have to do is accept it. And we get our cue from the gospel how to do that: Jesus “embraced the children and blessed them, placing his hands on them.” How do we accept the gift of the Kingdom? By letting God embrace us—by believing in our heart that God is right, that we are, indeed, worth dying for.
And we accept the Kingdom by letting God bless us—by letting Jesus say again and again: “You are my brothers and my sisters, and you are precious to me and the Father.” We accept the Kingdom by letting God touch us—in his sacraments, in the care of friends and family, in the peace of prayer.
The Kingdom of God is a free gift! Life is a gift! And Jesus places that right into our hands. All we have to do is accept it. And then the “enjoyment of the gift” will be ours.