And people were bringing children to him that he might touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this he became indignant and said to them, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." - Mark 10:13-14Jesus' disciples get it all wrong. They don't let the children get near him. Maybe they think Jesus needs some alone time. Or maybe they just think these children are a pain in the neck.
But Jesus gets indignant. And he makes it clear. No one must be prevented from coming to him.
I once asked my spiritual director how I could learn to love like Jesus loves. I do not think I can, I told him. I want to, but I don't know how.
I thought I was too broken to love. How can a broken person love? How can a broken person trust?
He told me to ask my sons. He said that they would know. I wasn't sure what he meant by that at first. But soon I began to understand.
I love my children unconditionally. And they love me the same way.
Like Jesus loves.
My husband had been away from the Catholic Church for years because of a divorce. He got an annulment and when he went to confession, the priest said, Welcome home.
Then my husband brought me to Mass. Every Sunday. And soon I too felt like I had come home.
Love opens hearts. Love heals wounds. Wounds of divorce. Wounds of abuse. Wounds of childhood.
It is Jesus who opens hearts. It is Jesus who helps us to trust - and love - like a child again.
It is Jesus who heals.
Not an easy thing to do. This love stuff.
To love like Jesus means to love without conditions. It means to love all the broken people. It means to love others who do not yet know what you and I know.
That Jesus is love.
We need to bring people to Jesus. Not block their way.
We need to bring his children to him.
Dear Lord, thank you for the gifts of faith and family. Thank you for loving me and teaching me to love. Thank you for healing my broken heart. Help me learn to trust and love others like a child. Help me to bring broken hearts to you. Amen.