Fr. Mike’s homily for Saturday of the 19th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I (1)

Fr. Mike’s homily for Saturday of the 19th week in Ordinary Time Cycle I

Theme: Take care of the children of today for a better world of tomorrow.

By: Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

Homily for Saturday August 14 2021

Mt 19:13-15

Children were brought to Jesus that He might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

Parents were bringing their children for Jesus to bless them. But the disciples tried to prevent them. Perhaps they just want to spare Him from the children’s noise and excitement. But Jesus did not approve of this. He reprimands them: “Let the children come to me and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

This short Gospel gives us two lessons. First, Jesus likes children. In fact, He loves them in a very special way. Why? It is because the children are truly pleasing in the eyes of God. They are innocent, docile, humble and loving. They are the clear reflections of Jesus. That is why He gave a very important teaching: “Unless you become like little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” Indeed, the best way to follow Jesus is the way of a little child. St. Therese of Lisieux, known for her childlike humility and simplicity, said, “Jesus has shown me the only way that leads to the fire of divine love: It is that of a little child who, full of trust, falls asleep in its father’s arms.”

The second lesson is a warning to us: “Do not prevent them.” The natural movement of children is towards Jesus. No one should stop them from coming to Him, “for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Many parents think that providing their children with material things, heath care and education is enough. They rarely realize that the children also need spiritual guidance, support and formation. In failing to do this, they are effectively preventing the children from getting close to Jesus. Neglect to teach them about God and His teachings is one example. Another is by not giving them the necessary formation on the important human and Christian values. And the worst is by giving them bad example, that not only confuse their young and innocent minds, but give them scandals that lead to grave sins and a life of depravity. Jesus is very strong in condemning those who do this to the children: “It would be better for him if a millstone were put around his neck and he be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin” (Lk 17:2).

During these times when we see so many children neglected by their parents, abused by the elders, and become victims of wars, hunger and disease, and millions more are killed by their mothers through abortion, we all know that Jesus is never happy. In fact, He is really furious. May God have mercy on the whole world! While there is still ample time, let us do something to stop all these abuses against the children, and let us help them in any way so that they can have a good future. Taking care of the children of today is the only way to assure a better world of tomorrow.

St. John Bosco, the Father and Teacher of the Youth, said, “Do you want to do a good deed? Teach the young! Do you want to do a holy thing? Teach the young! Truly, now and for the future, among holy things, this is the holiest.”

Fr. Mike Lagrimas
St. Michael the Archangel Parish
Diocese of Novaliches

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