Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Let the Little Children

Jesus left that place and went to the region of Judea and beyond the Jordan. And crowds again gathered around him; and, as was his custom, he again taught them.
Some Pharisees came, and to test him they asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?" He answered them, "What did Moses command you?" They said, "Moses allowed a man to write a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her." But Jesus said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart he wrote this commandment for you. But from the beginning of creation, 'God made them male and female.' 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
Then in the house the disciples asked him again about this matter. He said to them, "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery."
People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, "Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them .Mark 10:1-16   

Today is our last full day in Rome. We will be up very early to fly home tomorrow. I have been astounded every day, by delights and wonders that I did not expect.The welcome of Bishop Whalon and his clergy was truly touching and enveloping. Archbishop Moxon taking us to the excavation where Paul spent his last two years of life under house arrest was an  amazing and breath taking moment. Deacon Ruben, who gave us a private tour of the scavi under St. Peter's Basillica was unforgettably touching, and our snowy visit to the carceri where St. Francis went to pray was so moving and powerful. All these places made me feel wonder and joy again. But it was the people, those who extended a hand and made us feel welcome, that gave me a new heart and new eyes on this trip. The heart of a wondering and fearless child.

Jesus knew that folks wanted rules and regulations. Instead he wanted to talk to them about the depth of love. He wanted them to see that God wants us to open wide our arms and to make room for the noisy, the messy and the different. And we are to befriend the troubled and the broken. We are to be the people that help restore wonder and joy to others, who make a place for the ones the world has rejected.

Today I ask God to give me the courage to take on the coming days as a child. May I always see the joy and wonder in the world. May we see the holy and all the gifts of creation in every day and every being. May we live loving others, honoring what they offer and delighting in their unique gifts.

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