Today’s Gospel is truly one of my favorites! Perhaps it’s because I’ve worked in schools for 3 years. But my favorite thing about being around kids, no matter what age they are, is being able to watch them learn. It’s almost like you can actually see their minds growing. So often we hear that children are like sponges…they soak up whatever is around them. More often than not, that’s said within the context of “Be careful what you say around kids, you never know what they will repeat.” But I think we need to change our perspective.
How beautiful that children are like sponges. They soak up whatever is around them. That means that when they are surrounded by goodness, they soak up and become goodness. When they are around the Word of God, they soak up and repeat the Word of God. When they are around people who are leading others towards Heaven, they in turn learn how to lead others to Heaven.
Children look at the world with wonder and awe. They ask questions. They desire to know who created them, how they were created, and why they are here. Children have no fear to ask these questions whereas, as adults, I think we are afraid and ashamed to ask these questions because we feel like we should have all the answers. This is why Christ told His disciples, “Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” He desires for us to trust him. Christ wants us to humble ourselves before Him and learn from Him. He wants us to sit at His feet and hear His words in the same manner in which a child sits at the feet of his loving parents.
St. Zelie Martin–mother of St. Therese of Lisieux–wrote, “When we had our children, our ideas changed somewhat. We lived only for them. They were all our happiness, and we never found any except in them. In short, nothing was too difficult, and the world was no longer a burden to us.” The presence of children reminds us of what it was like to be a child. To be inquisitive, to not hold bitterness against the world, to know who we are because we know those who made us.
May we be reminded of the innocence of childhood and may we always be able to look towards Heaven as a journey home to the One who made us.
Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, pray for us!
Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO is studying for her Master’s in Spanish, and loves her job as an elementary school librarian. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.