Gospel Reflection- Saturday (13 August) – 19th week of Ordinary Time – Let the children come
Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Matthew (19: 13-15) in which people brought little children to Jesus for him to lay his hands on them and say a prayer.
Fr Paul says the centre of Matthew’s version of this little narrative is the blessing of the children – in other words the actual ‘laying on hands’ and Jesus saying a prayer. Matthew leaves out Jesus’ rebuke of the disciples, which is found in other gospels, for turning the children away. Jesus simply says, let the little children alone and let them come to me….
Here we are talking about young children up to the age of seven. So, Matthew maybe saying that children of any age should be welcomed into the Christian assembly. This contrasts with the Jewish assembly where children had no status and had no part to play in the assembly.
Perhaps Jesus, like Pope Francis and Fr Paul himself, prefers a ‘messy Church’.
Fr Paul says Church or Mass is not a mass without a baby crying or a child crying out during the mass!! All are welcome.
For our reflection today, Fr Paul invites us to consider, ‘Do I welcome everyone or am I intolerant towards others?’