You must become as little children

In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus tells us “…unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

I was thinking of this today as I was listening to music from the Mexican Baroque period. That led me to my experience of the celebrations of our Latino community in my parish. For the Feast of Guadalupe people dress in costumes. There is a lot of joy and playfulness mixed in with the deep devotion.

Or, I think of the young father who came forward at mass with his tiny daughter, bearing a box with the ashes of his recently deceased (29 year old) wife. He asked that they be placed on the altar so that the community could pray for her, for them during mass. Why he chose the english mass when he spoke only spanish, I’ll never know. It was unplanned – a surprise to everyone, even the priest who handled it beautifully.

It seems that we Americans, and western Europeans have grown old. We have cast away childlike trust. The widower trusted that his request, his need would be honored. This just wouldn’t have happened had he been a part of the much more reserved english speaking community. We want plans. We want protocol. We are not about to bare our souls to the community and ask for healing and help.

We are hesitant to dress up and play the parts in plays. Oh, that’s okay for a 5 year old. But, where has the playfulness and innocence and trust gone?

Lord, I hope that I can indeed become as a little child more often and therefore be open to Your love, Your care, Your joy. And, I ask you to help me to trust as a child trusts.

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