SATURDAY 7TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME GOSPEL COMMENTARY. JESUS AND THE CHILDREN (Mk 10:13-16).
People were bringing children to Jesus 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 the children and blessed them, placing his hands on them
COMMENTARY FROM THE NAVARRE BIBLE, ST. MARK (WITH PERMISSION)
- This Gospel account has an attractive freshness and vividness about it which may be connected with St Peter, from whom St Mark would have taken the story. It is one of the few occasions when the Gospels tell us that Christ became angry. What provoked his anger was the disciples’ intolerance: they felt that these people bringing children to Jesus were a nuisance: it meant a waste of his time; Christ had more serious things to do than be involved with little children. The disciples were well-intentioned; it was just that they were applying the wrong criteria. What Jesus had told them quite recently had not registered: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mk 9:37).
- Our Lord clearly stresses that a Christian has to become like a child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me” (Mk (:37).
- Our Lord’s words express simply and graphically the key doctrine of man’s divine sonship: God is our Father and we are his sons and daughters, his children; the whole of religion is summed up in the relationship of a son with his good Father. This awareness of God as Father involves : a sense of dependence on our Father in heaven, and trusting abandonment to his loving Providence — in the way a child trusts its father or mother; the humility of recognizing that we can do nothing by ourselves; simplicity and sincerity, which make us straightforward and honest in our dealings with God and man.
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