Does Jesus Hold Back?

What a wonderful way to start the day by remembering Angela Merici. She was a very special lady that lived in the 16th century. She was born in Italy and was orphaned at an early age and was sent to live with her uncle. When she turned 20, she moved back to her hometown of Desenzeno where she gathered her first group of girls and taught them the Catechism. Angela was the first woman to do such a thing. Later she founded a group of virgins called the Company of Saint Ursula in 1536. Why is this important? Because, one of my daughters, the one that is in charge of this blog site, attended an Ursuline college in Owensboro, KY. Instead of catechizing girls, she and her husband are forming their four little boys to be saints. 

Angela Merici must have read today’s Gospel since she was passionate about teaching the girls the Good News and the teachings of the Church. She also believed that the person receiving catechesis should be shown interest, gentleness, and persuasiveness rather than force. She believed that the home is the best place to learn about God and the Church. She also believed that if the country was not doing well, then the family was not doing well. Wow, how true!

Jesus admits that he holds back the mysteries of God from those who do not follow him. How best to follow him than to be taught at a young age the Word of God in Bible stories and teachings of the Church? What about us adults? Is just going to church on Sunday enough to receive some answers about the mysteries of God?  I feel The Lord is asking for more, much more. This last year has been clouded by what we have been asked to do because of COVID-19. We have discovered that being cooped up for months has not been good for our spiritual, mental and physical health. I have been surprised at how much it has affected me. I am a social kind of guy. Not seeing my friends and neighbors on a regular basis has had a negative effect on me. It seems to have stolen some of my joy. It made me realize that my real joy comes from the Lord. I wish I would have done a better job at filling that non-social time with more prayer to deepen my love and relationship with the Lord. I am attempting to do that now. 

Now, back to children.  I have always been amazed by how children are like sponges, eager to hear about Jesus.  If you have young children and have been negligent in reading books to them, try this: grab a book written for children that has a Bible story in it. You will have to multitask for this. Read this story slowly and with some emotion and try to catch glimpses of the child’s face as you are reading. You will be amazed at what you see in that child’s face. You will receive a great gift and so will the child. 

Also, today is my wife’s birthday. If you can, please lift up a prayer for her, she will love the grace!

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Deacon Dan Schneider is a retired general manager of industrial distributors. He and his wife Vicki recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. They are the parents of eight children and twenty-nine grandchildren. He has a degree in Family Life Education from Spring Arbor University. He was ordained a Permanent Deacon in 2002.  He has a passion for working with engaged and married couples and his main ministry has been preparing couples for marriage.

Featured Image Credit: Dimitri Conejo Sanz,