Saturday of the 19th Week of the Year

Matt 19:13-15

Blessing of Children

OTHER HOMILY SOURCES:

“Let the children come to me.” Learning to find recourse in prayer at an early age is touch of grace. It is amazing how children can pick up the needs of their loved ones and write about their own heartaches with such simplicity and candor. Their concerns begin to lead them to the painful reality of life and sin. One seven-year old girl writes: “Dear paint Sisters, please hill my mother of her iscoolyozice and Kevin her lokemya and me for my hartatack.” Another concerned  sever-year old girl wrote reflectively: “Please help me pray for my papa to stay away from temptations and from bad girl.”

Running to God like little children is another term for prayer. There is a beautiful screen saver in a computer that reads: “I am God. Today, I will be handling all your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFJTOD (Something For Jesus To Do) box. It will be addressed in My Time not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problems. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution. Because I do not sleep no do I slumber, there is no need for you lose any sleep. Rest my child. If you need to contact Me, I am only a prayer away. As with all good things.” (SSpSAP Bible Diary 2002)

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We Filipinos forget, we have our own heroes. Taking my cue from Matthew’s account of Jesus blessing children, let me re-tell stories of young heroes:

Robin Garcia – Cabanatuan City: Earthquake of July 16, 1990. Robin was the valedictorian of the fourth year high school class of Cabanatuan Christian College, which collapsed in the earthquake of July 16, 1990. He escaped from the building. Outside, he remembered that his girlfriend was trapped inside; so he returned and brought Victoria out. Seeing other classmates pinned down, he returned and saved two more. When he went to save others, the building collapsed killing Robin.

Sahid Bulid – Bocaue fluvial tragedy. Sahid was a Muslim teenager in Bocaue, Bulacan. When the raft holding the image capsized (it was overloaded), he saw many of his friends drowning. Being a good swimmer, Sahid was able to bring three to safety. When he went to save a fourth, his strength failed him; he too drowned.

Rhona Mahilum – Rhona was barely six when she woke to see their hut burning. An older sister was sleeping like a log. Rhona, with great effort, was able to save all her siblings. But she herself was badly burnt. Today Rhona deformed despite people’s efforts to bring her to plastic surgeons.

“Greater love than this is no one has….: (Fr. Willy Villegas, SVD Bible Diary 2004)

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An eminent baby specialist had a standard treatment for frail newborn infants who failed to gain weight. When he came to the baby’s chart during his rounds in the hospital, he invariably scrawled the following direction to the nurse in attendance: “This baby has to be loved every three hours.” Most often than not, the baby gets to be chubby and healthy and robust with rosy cheeks.

Children, more than anyone else, need constant reassurance that they are loved. They need to be affirmed and reaffirmed now and then. They need to feel the touch of an adult hand, the warmth of an adult cheek, the embrace of adult arms. Jesus knew the importance of all of this. That’s why He said, “Let the children come to me.” And He took the children in His arms 9Mk 10:16) and emphasized them.

On entering a bookstore, a little boy was intrigued by a colored wall frame with the biblical verse: “Thou, God, seest me.” Noticing the child’s inquisitiveness and interest, a kindly woman took the motto from the wall and began to painstakingly explain it to the child.

“Some people will tell this,” she said, “that God is always watching to see when you are doing wrong – so He can punish you. I don’t want you to think of the motto this way. Every time you read the words, ‘Thou, God, seest me,’ I would rather have you remember that God loves you so much that He cannot take His eyes off you.” (Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD Bible Diary 2005)

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A story is told about a parish priest who showed his garden to a man who wouldn’t let his children attend catechism. As an excuse, he wanted them to wait until they are mature to decide for themselves. The garden was full of weeds that choked the squash, beans and sweet potatoes. The man remarked in disgust: “This is a pitiful excuse for a garden!” the priest smiled with a reply: “I just wanted to wait until the vegetables had chance to decide for themselves what they wanted to do.”

In the gospel of today we read about the children who wanted to come closer to Jesus but they were prevented by the disciples. In the mid set of that time, women and children had no social importance. However, Jesus demonstrated that God’s love accommodates everyone, including, if not especially, children and those labelled as “little ones.” They have innate rights that society has to protect and cultivate like education, clean environment, physical and spiritual nourishment.

The gospel text also zeroes in on a very important attitude: childlikeness. Interesting that Jesus does not make this attitude a condition or a requirement for belonging to the Kingdom of heaven. He says rather that already the “kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (both to children and the childlike). They don’t have to force their way into the kingdom; the kingdom, so to speak, has already found a natural dwelling place in them.

“Lord, as we mature physically and spiritually, may we remain childlike in simplicity and humility which draws us closer into your loving presence. Amen.” (Fr. Marlone Ramirez, SVD Bible Diary 2006)

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When I visit a family in the parish, the mother and the father are often rather shy in my presence, but their children always act naturally and make me welcome. Sadly, the children’s behavior frequently seems to be unacceptable to their parents while I am there, and their parents often warn them: “Magalit si Father!” I say jokingly: “Hindi magagalit si Father!” the children know this already but my words never seem to have much effect on their parents. However, children are at the heart of the family and are loved for it by their parents.

In this gospel episode, nagalit si Jesus (Jesus is angry), but he is certainly not angry with children or with those who are bringing them to Him. He is annoyed with his own disciples, which is unusual for Him. The disciples surely must by now used to the large numbers coming to Jesus for healing, yet they speak unkindly to those who are bringing children to be prayed over by him, as if they fear that magagalit si Jesus!

Jesus has already told them in the previous chapter of this gospel, “Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me,” He then warned them strongly against placing a stumbling block in front of a child who believes in Him:…”it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Now he says: “Let the children come to me and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.”

Children are a priority for Jesus. They show the helplessness, the truth and the hope of what Jesus calls the poor in spirit who are blessed, “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” If we could take our children seriously, share our faith with them and come to know Jesus better through them, we could become, like them, much closer to Jesus. (Fr. Alan Meechan, SVD Bible Diary 2007)

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What is it about children that cause Jesus to tell us that “the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these?” Is he speaking of the moral innocence of children? Not really because the Kingdom belongs also to adults who follow the call of Jesus even after living a sinful life. We cannot remain children forever and the first reading makes it clear that the forgiving power of God is always available, no matter what age we are or what background we may come from. Neither can Jesus be speaking of a mere sentimental attachment to children. Such an attitude can often be self-serving and shallow.

We will better understand what Jesus means if we realize that the Kingdom of God is first and foremost a gift. God sent His Son to proclaim eternal life to us. We do not earn it; it is given to us before we accomplish anything on our part. We simply must open our hearts to receive God’s love. This is the openness that children have but which we have to cultivate as adults. As we grow older we develop a sense of entitlement which can make us feel that God owes us something. We become aware of our accomplishments and begin to expect to be rewarded by7 God. It is also the attitude which can start to make us feel superior to others and more deserving of God’s blessings.  It is so easy. To forget that even our accomplishments are God’s gifts to us. “This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to the means by which our sins are forgiven,” (1John 4:10).

We pray that we may receive God’s love with the trusting heart of a child while at the same time hearing the Word of God and keeping it with the mature faith of an adult. (Fr. John O’Mahony, SVD Bible Diary 2008)

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Today we hear news about child maltreatment, child labor, and sexual abuse of children. . worse of all is the fact that millions of children today are denied of life and love by their own parents through abortion.  The Reproductive  Health Bill pending in congress is a critical issue which in a way highlights the kind of values and thinking that his present generation has regarding life, particularly that of the unborn. The UN Convention  of 1990 strongly upholds the rights of children, and advocates against child abuse in any form.

One of our Filipino customs is Mano Po wherein the younger ones kiss the hands of the elders as a sign of respect. In one of my visits to a family after saying Mass in a barrio, the children came to kiss my hand one by one. The youngest one was not so sure of coming forward. With the urgings of the older children, she slowly came closer and finally got hold of my hand, looked up and blurted out: “Are you Jesus?” the momentarily jolted me. Then I smiled and said, “No, but you and I are with Jesus!” And the child smiled back.

There in that child I have all the reasons to say with Christ that “to such the Kingdom of heaven belongs.” Someone pointed out the common characteristics of children:

They tell the truth – they don’t know how to tell a lie

They are simple – they have no pretensions

They have a one-tract mind – they are not complicated

They are trustful – not doubtful not suspicious

They are loving and lovable – not threatening to anyone

Nothing new but very refreshing to remember. Maybe it is us “adults” who need more of Christ’s hands on us that we remain childlike in our relationship with Him (Fr. Carlos Lariosa, SVD Bible Dairy 2012).

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August 13, 2016 Saturday

Jesus loves children. It is most certainly because, children are guileless, they have a clean heart, for they know nothing about scheming or planning evil. Children trust. In the Gospel passage, children trusted their parents, when they were brought to Jesus. Happy indeed the children whose parents are models in searching for God.

Is God happy with adults? Yes and No. The first reading narrates that God gives long life to a virtuous man/woman. The virtuous person “shall surely live, says the Lord”. To those who remain sinless and do what is just and right, God loves them and is happy with them.

On the other hand, those who put God at the back seat and waste their time on “idols”, those who oppress, exact usury, rob people and practice abominations – they will surely die.

Fortunately, God has no pleasure in the death of anyone. He waits. He gives grace, so that those who are destined “to die” can have a change of heart and return to the Lord.

How fitting the response is to the reading today: “Create a clean heart in me, O God”.

Let me live.

Fr. Atliano Corcuera, SVD | DSWT, Tagaytay City (Bible Diary 2016)

rveritas-asia.org/daily-reflection/822-august-13-2016-saturday

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August 18, 2012

St. Helena
Saturday of the 19th Week
GREEN

Ez 18:1-10, 13b, 30-32
Ps 51
Mt 19:13-15

Blessing of the Children

13Children were brought to [Jesus] that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked them, 14but Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15After he placed his hands on them, he went away.

Reflection:

Let the children come to me. For the Jews, children are insignificant and sometimes a nuisance. But for Jesus, they are role models for discipleship. He welcomes them anytime and blesses them.

A child is considered helpless, powerless, vulnerable. Children depend upon their parents and elders. We, too, must present ourselves before God in the same manner. We must accept our limitations and express our need for God. We must rely on God’s power and providence, for without God, we are lost, helpless, defenseless.

Children are normally trustful of their parents, elders, guardians, or older siblings. They obey them and even imitate them. They are willing to learn. In the same manner, we, too, must trust God and willingly accept God’s plans for us. God knows best. We only have to obey God’s commandments and follow in Jesus’ footsteps. We have to learn God’s ways which include welcoming others to Jesus’ community.

How much of a child are you in the sight of the Lord?
Do you teach the right values to your children?
How do you guide them to fulfill their roles in the community?

ssp.ph/index.php/online-resources/366-days-with-the-lord/1948-august-18-2012

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v. 15: “After he placed his hands on them, he went away.” Jesus used his hands to bless the children brought to him. We also ought to bless whoever comes to us let’s not use our hands to hurt and drive people away. May our hands, our whole being be a channel  of grace and blessing to others (Fr. Ching OP).

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Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time (Year C) – Mateo 19:13-15. Unsa may sakto – ang magbinata o ang magpakabata? Ang magbinata ingon ani: Mangayo ka sa Dios bisan unsay imong gusto. Kon ihatag ang imong gipangayo, malipay ka ug daygon nimo ang Ginoo; kon dili, mangluod ka ug mohunong sa pag-ampo. Maayo ka ug matinabangon sa mga tawo nga magdayeg nimo. Pero, masuko ka ug makigbungol sa mga tawo nga lain og hunahuna nimo. Ingon ani ba ang gusto sa Dios para nato? Dili. Ang magpakabata ingon ani: Mitubo ka na ug miasenso, apan nagpabilin kang mapaubsanon ug masaligon sa Ginoo. Adunay mga tawo nga imong gikasumpaki, apan dili ka magdumot ug dali rang magpasaylo. Kini mao ang kalidad sa mga bata nga maoy gustong ipasunod kanato ni Cristo. (Fr. Abet Uy)

abetuy.blogspot.com/2013/08/saturday-of-19th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Saturday, August 13, 2016

SATURDAY OF THE 19TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C) – MATEO 19:13-15. UNSA MAY KALAINAN SA MAGBINATA UG SA MAGPAKABATA? Ang magbinata ingon ani: Mangayo ka sa Dios bisan unsay imong ganahan. Kon ihatag ang imong gipangayo, daygon nimo ang Ginoo; kon dili, mangluod ka ug mohunong na sa pag-ampo. Maayo ka sa mga tawo nga magdayeg nimo ug mosunod sa imong gusto. Apan, masuko ka ug makigbungol sa mga tawo nga dili mosunod sa imong hunahuna ug plano. Samtang ang magpakabata ingon ani: Mitubo ka ug miasenso, apan nagpabilin kang mapaubsanon ug masaligon sa Ginoo. Adunay mga tawo nga imong gikasumpaki, apan dili ka magdumot ug dali rang magpasaylo. Ang magpakabata, dili ang magbinata, maoy gustong ipasunod kanato ni Kristo. Sakto ang nag-ingon, “While we try to teach our children all about life, our children teach us what life is all about.”Posted by Abet Uy

abetuy.blogspot.com/2016/08/saturday-of-19th-week-in-ordinary-time.html

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Reflection for Saturday August 16, Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 19:13-15 – Reflection: Do you bring your children to church for Holy Mass? Do you teach your children about Jesus? Do you read the bible to your children? All  of these questions are means for all of us to bring our children closer to Jesus but do we bring our children to Jesus?

What is the importance of bringing our children to Jesus? First and foremost is it assures their good future in this world and beyond this world. This is basically what Jesus does to our children:He assures them of a bright and Godly future not based on the criteria of this world but based on His own criteria.

Just imagine if we bring our children closer to Jesus, we will have less headache as they grow-up. This is for the reason that the frequent you bring them to Jesus the more that they are being guided by Jesus in everyday of their lives.

Some parents of today are afraid to bring their children closer to Jesus. Because they are afraid that they children may aspire to become a priest or a nun and their alibi is there’s no money in aspiring for the priesthood or in becoming a nun. Indeed there’s no money in these vocations but we don’t live for money in this world we live to live the teachings of Jesus.

What will it benefit your children if they have all the money in this world yet they don’t have Jesus? When you bring your children to Jesus you are not only investing in their you are also investing in your own future in heaven. – Marino J. Dasmarinas Posted by: Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2014/08/reflection-for-saturday-august-16.html

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Friday, August 12, 2016

Reflection for Saturday August 13, Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time; Matthew 19:13-15

Reflection: What can you remember from your childhood?

Many of our present values and habits were given to us when we were children. For example the habit of going to church for Holy Mass.  If our parents brought us up by bringing us to church for Mass, we surely would grow with this saintly habit until we grow old and die.

Another example is if our parents taught us good manners and values. We would also imbibe these manners and values. This is always the situation: We will grow with the values and habits that were taught to us when we were children.

What if we were not given the proper values by our parents? We may grow up without manners and conduct. We may have friends who are bad influence to us, friends who will introduce us to indulge in vices and other things that are not good.

Jesus said in the gospel, “Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them.” Why were the disciples preventing the children from going to Jesus? Perhaps they wanted Jesus to rest because He was tired.

What is the message of Jesus for us? Jesus wants us also to introduce our children to HIM by teaching them about HIS life and teachings written in the scriptures. Jesus wants us also to bring along our children to the celebration of the Holy Mass.

If we introduce our children to Jesus by way of educating them about His life in the bible. If we bring our children to Holy Mass we can sit back and relax for we are already assured of a secure future for our children.

Have you consciously introduced your children to Jesus?- Marino J. Dasmarinas

mjdasma.blogspot.com/2016/08/reflection-for-saturday-august-13.html

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See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

Back to: Saturday of the 19th Week of the Year

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