November 16,2008 33rd Sunday Year A

Scripture: Mark 10:13-16
Today at the Church we celebrate the beautiful Japanese custom of children aged 7,5,and 3 receiving a blessing. Please read the scene in Mark's Gospel (10:13-16) of Jesus blessing the children.
This week is called 'Bible Week'. The Bible is God's message to each of us.  So when we open our Bible, let us ask ourselves: 'What is Jesus/God saying to me in this passage?'
Back to Mark. Jesus had been preaching all day, and was also answering questions by some who were against him.  They were trying to trap him.  So Jesus was very tired when he ended his teaching time.  It was then that mothers with small children came to Jesus and asked him to bless their children.  The 12 apostles tried to chase the mothers away by saying;"The Master is tired, come tomorrow!"  But Jesus told the mothers to come, and he blessed each child.
So what is the 'message from God' in this scene?  It is this:Jesus is so approachable.  He is interested in our daily lives.  Let us go to him in prayer.  He is never too busy or too tired - he always receives us with open arms.  Telling him our joys and sorrows is prayer.  The great doctor of prayer St. Teresa of Avila says:"Prayer is a heart to heart conversation with God whom we know loves us"
Being a parent (and also a grand-parent) in today's unsettled, competitive, hedonistic society is tough work!  Parents need God's help to be good, patient mothers and fathers.  Ask God for that help. He is always delighted to give it.  Parents!  Please pray with your children in simple words. Please read the Bible to them in simple words.
May God bless children and families in Japan.

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