Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32, Ps. 51:12-15,18-19, Matthew 19:13-15
“Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)
Our Gospel passage today reveals something so pure and so striking; the fact that God wants the children to come to him. As adults, we have a tendency to prevent children from coming close to God. How? First, we think that children cannot comprehend God or that their participation in religious activities is only a nuisance. In reality, the reverse is the case. Children are more religious than we like to think. The best gift you can give your children is to teach them about God very early. You help to form their character for life.
Secondly, there are a lot of practical atheists today who were previously Christians but have disconnected themselves from all forms of religious activity not because they found faults with God but because they are not happy with persons who claim to know God. Such persons end up preventing their own children from getting to know God. You think you are protecting your children but in reality, you are destroying them.
Have you seen what became of societies that removed the bible from their classrooms? Look at the devastating effects of drugs on children who grow up not knowing how else to handle stress. Children who grow up without any idea of God end up becoming spiritually deficient. Let your children come to God. Take them to Sunday School. Let them participate in the catechism class.
If we are honest, for most of us, it is those things we learned in catechism as children that sustain our Christian faith to this day. While growing up, two books had the greatest impact on my life. The first is the Yellow cover “My book of Bible Stories”. I read this book cover to cover sometimes reading the stories twice or more. The second book is that small red color “Penny Catechism” which I memorized. I am forever grateful to God that I had access to these books early enough.
You may spend huge sums of money educating your children but if you fail to nourish them spiritually or fail to teach them how to pray, you could end up deforming them. It is sad to note that some parents go as far as offering bribes just so that their children can receive baptism and other sacraments without going through the rigors of catechism class.
Whether we like it or not, a bulk of our problems in Africa arise as a result of the absence of morality among our populace. We have lost a sense of what is right and wrong. Our leaders do not think is it wrong to steal or divert funds meant for development. People are respected today not according to their contribution to society but according to the size of their pockets.
Some parents do not realize the danger of refusing to spend time with their children until it becomes too late. The prophet Ezekiel today tells us that we serve a God of justice. God is not going to inflict punishment on children for the sins of their parents. Nevertheless, we must give an account of the children God has given to us. Above all, Ezekiel tells us today to repent. God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked but in their repentance. Have you been preventing your kids directly and indirectly from getting close to God? Repent today.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, may I not be an obstacle to any child who wants to come to you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Saturday of week 19 in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Ezekiel 18:1-10,13,30-32, Ps. 51:12-15,18-19, Matthew 19:13-15).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu