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The good news for the day August 13

Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time (418)

Once some youngsters were brought to Jesus for Him to give them hugs and pray. The students of Jesus tried to shoo them away, but Jesus said, “Let them here—do not stop children from coming to me; because the realm of what is right belongs to persons like these.” After he gave them hugs, he went off somewhere else. (Matthew 19)

Again, let us get past sweetsy-poo pictures of a golden-haired Jesus sitting surrounded by sweetsy-poo kids—to see the Good News for us adults—what does this involvement of Jesus and children mean to you?

The real picture includes you—both as the welcoming Jesus ready to welcome “little people.” You are also, though, the being-hugged child–and the one involved in prayer with them.

Jesus: As Jesus you welcome strangers, people who, like shy, awkward children, are reluctant to engage you, adults who seem ill-suited to the adult world. It is also true—as said often—a child hides in each of us, your and my insecurity—the fear that other people are smarter, more experienced—just better. Such adult “children” may bluster, attack, temper-tantrum and rant, avoid eye contact and heart-contact, evading, stumbling and retreating. These you hug with delicate, prayerful sensitivity; you are the kind Jesus to such people.

As one of the children: As a child, though, you need to realize how loved, how precious you are—no matter how small, humble, lonely, depressed and futile you feel. There exist Jesus-people out there, extending their hands, offering their kind presence, saying re-assuring words, and praying you into a reminder of your “belonging” in the Family of God, the realm of what is right—heaven. You are included as part of the Good, even if, as the Gospel mentions, Jesus might seem to have “gone away”.

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