Yesterday's Gospel reading came from Mark 10:13-16. While only three verses, the reading says a huge amount about how we should view and live our Catholic faith. In the reading, Christ tells his disciples, "whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And as I sat there in mass listening to the reading, and even throughout the rest of the mass, I kept thinking, "what exactly does this mean?"
As a little child. As a little child. As a little child. Simply put...we all need to live our faith simply. There's only so far we can go; sometimes we ask so many questions and ponder so much about the great mysteries of our faith, that we forget the simple truth - that it just is. God told Moses that He is "I AM." And so, just how God is, our faith is. Yes, Christ came, he died, and he rose to victory, and yes, there is a ton of theology behind how exactly it all worked, but in the end, we can look to God with faith and simply say, "yes Daddy."
Because I think that's what Christ meant when he said we need to enter the kingdom of heaven as little children. We all need to try harder to remember a time when things were simple, when our brains and our hearts weren't bogged down and stressed out with the daily workings of work and school, of uncertainty and worry. God just wants us to run to Him and to live with Him in the moment.
I look around at little children, and they are so innocent, so untainted, and so dependent. Yeah, dependent. All of us are still dependent, some of us still on our earthly parents, all of us still dependent on our Heavenly Father - but not all of us want to admit it. God wants us to open up so much to Him that when He says to us, in the depths of our hearts, "This is my beloved Son," we can look at Him wide-eyed and say, "okay, Daddy, I believe you. Thank you. And I love you." And it's not a contrived or forced response, but a genuine one of love and trust, with 100% faith and admiration.
A couple of years ago, I was talking with a friend on Mother's Day, and she said, "Jere, I was praying today, and I wished Mary a happy mother's day...is that weird?" I responded, "Of course not! That's wonderful. I'm sure that she's happy that you wished her!" And I'm being completely honest here when I say that that moment is one of the most beautiful examples of a child-like faith I have ever witnessed. So often, we try to pray, we read about different types of prayer, we ask the saints for all these intercessions, and we forget to just be, to uncomplicate things and just say hello and be in a relationship.
Our faith would reach another level if we could just remember the heart of a child, innocent and yearning for a hug from dad as he walked in the door from work in the evening. Just let go; don't struggle - let Love envelop you. We would have more joy, more peace, and more faith. We would more readily accept God into our lives, and when we leave this earth, will still be willing to accept all of Him - which is what the kingdom of Heaven is. In yesterday's Gospel reading, Christ commands his disciples to "let the little children come to [him]" (Mark 10:14). God wants all of us to run to Him with arms wide open. We just need to remember how.