Feast of Sto. Niño (B) White
Is 9: 1-6 • Ps 97 • Eph 1: 3-6, 15-18
Mk 10:13–16 • Blessing of Children
13People were bringing children to Jesus that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14When 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. 15Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” 16Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them.
Fisher of Men
I still remember that after my graduation in college I didn’t know which path I should take for a career. I was faced with different choices to work with, especially in the corporate world. I was silently praying to God which career would lead me to fulfill his plan to follow him and to make me a “fisher of men.” I was really focused aspiring to become such. I tried to consider all job offers, but the one offer that struck my heart the most was to become a campus minister in a public non-sectarian school.
Being a campus minister is a very challenging work. I was then the youngest and the only one without experience among the ministers. I had lots of doubts and questions; nevertheless, God never left me alone. He sent people to push me to my limits and helped me develop my skills to effectively minister to the flock assigned to me. So many things happened that tested my understanding, stretched my patience, developed my skills and talents. Honestly, I almost gave up on the ministry. I was so passionate with becoming a “fisher of men” but my ministry was eating me up. During this time of desolation, the only hope I clung to was the Lord, and I never gave up in communicating with him. In one of our faith-sharing sessions, I was consoled by the same Gospel that we have today. I realized that following Jesus is never easy. It entails sacrifice in order to learn. It needs a lot of love in order to persevere. But above all, it calls for a regression, for becoming a “child” to God first before becoming effective in the ministry.
A Child in Me, a Child in Us
In today’s Gospel, Jesus reproached his disciples because they were preventing the children to come to him.
The disciples, perhaps for want of patience at an ever-present and ever-needy crowd, were not able to realize that Jesus’ availability and approachability was his very reason for coming down to earth. Jesus came to earth to establish a kingdom: a kingdom not of temporal stature but an eternal one—the Kingdom of God. And this kingdom belongs to the children whom Jesus’ disciples rebuked. What Jesus means here is that the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are open to the outpouring of God’s love and mercy, to those children, to the “childlike.” At times we, too, tend to forget this because we consider ourselves mature. We want to carve our own destiny. We want to appear as adults in the eyes of God when what God wants is for us to be children to him. The disciples forgot this. I myself forgot this when I was so overwhelmed by my ministry with the youth in the campuses, by my aspiration to become a “fisher of men.” Sometimes God only wants us to show our affection to him; to first recognize our being a child to a loving Father.
Let us remember that the first step of becoming a “fisher of men” is being a “child” in the eyes of God.
–Mary Joyce Chamorro
- What were people bringing to Jesus which the disciples rebuked?
- Whose kingdom is Jesus referring to when rebuking to the disciples?
- What did Jesus do to the children after he reprimanded his disciples?
- What hinders you from hearing God’s message for you to be “childlike” to him?
- What are the things that you need to let go to be able to follow Christ?
- If you are one of the children that Jesus defended, embraced and placed his hand upon you, how would you react?
- Create a meme of your favorite Bible verse and post it on your Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter account(s). Be creative. Your meme should be catchy. Try to obtain 100 likes for your meme. Emphasize on the theme “becoming childlike.”
- Invite your friends to hang out and share your story about discipleship and adherence to Jesus. After sharing, offer a prayer for one another and a prayer for all the priests and religious brothers and sisters to strengthen them as they continue their mission.
- In your own little way, try being “childlike” in your household, school, office, etc.