August 17, 2019
by Tom Drzaic
Creighton University's Human Resources
click here for photo and information about the writer

Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 417

Joshua 24:14-29
Psalms 16:1-2A and 5, 7-8, 11
Matthew 19:13-15

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Today’s Gospel immediately drew me back to my faith journey, from first learning about Jesus to where I am at today.  In the Gospel, Jesus informs us that heaven belongs to such as these, speaking of the children who sought Him out.

Traditionally I have always thought of this to be solely about how as a child we tend to think of ourselves and our faith as being pure and innocent, not corrupted by the world in which we live.  However, in thinking further about my childhood experiences, after taking off my rose colored glasses, was to ask if that was the case?  While blessed to have been brought up in a fantastic Catholic family, school, parish and neighborhood, with the great memories dwarfing the poor, there were many influences that could chip away at my faith.   Looking back anything from a skinned knee, to hurt feelings brought on by something that was said to me, to desiring a toy I couldn't have, to even being the source of hurting someone, all were a big deal at the time.

Realizing this, I now see that it is doubtful that I always come to Jesus with this pure and joyful innocent faith.  But I would come to Him far more often than I do today when the problems of the world seem to be all around. I would come to him then nightly with prayers, during the day in school, and in Mass.  I would come to him when I was sad, when I was joyful, and when I was having an average and mundane day. I would give praise to Him when something good happened and I would question how He could allow something that hurt me to happen.   

In today’s world I find it harder to do this.  With a seemingly endless list of to do’s, in a culture that increasingly devalues open religious expression, it is no wonder that it is easy to slip into a pattern of unconscious indifference. So while this passage’s main message of coming to him in complete faith and trust holds true, it is a reminder to me to make time to come to him joyfully and frequently.  It is a reminder to shut off those devices and look forward to sitting in a quiet place and reflecting on whatever I may be feeling, looking forward to growing closer to God and discerning on what God is telling us through my experiences and prayer.

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