10 minutes wih Jesus are group of Catholic priests who share friendship with Jesus, plus keenness to help young people of all ages to learn the art of loving Jesus and speaking to Him. You can find them in WhatsApp, Spotify, Ivoox, Telegram, Goggle Podcasts and Apple Podcast. Every saturday, we are going to share one meditation by 10 minutes with Jesus. Enjoy it.
My Lord and my God, I firmly believe that you are here, that you see me, that you hear me, I adore you with profound reverence. I ask your pardon for my sins, and the grace to make this time of Prayer fruitful; my Immaculate Mother, St. Joseph, my father and Lord, my guardian angel intercede for me.
An elderly noun
Jesus, you marvel at what comes out of the mouths of children, of mere babes, and we marvel too, many of us have children, or have lived with little kids, and it really is amazing what they say sometimes, it’s very funny. I heard the story of an elderly nun, who was teaching kindergarten for a long time, for many years, and at one point, she was trying to impress on her students how much God loved them, and so she would begin by telling each of them, that he or she was a child of God, and that God loved them very much.
And so, to emphasize the point, this wonderful nun would call each child by their name and ask them, “Cindy are you a child of God?” “Bobby are you a child of God?” and the answer was invariably “yes sister.” And then, she would ask “well what about me? Am I a child of God?” Now, that was a stumper right, the children would look at that dear old, wrinkled face and gray hair, and shake their heads solemnly, if somewhat regretfully; and so then they none would say, “Well if I’m not a child of God, what am I?” and then a long silence ensued, everyone thought hard, and finally one of the little boy’s face brightened up, he raised his hand eagerly “sister, sister, I know” and so she said “yes dear” and he responded, “you are Adam’s wife.”
Children think, children say
No filter, no complex, children are simple, they say exactly what they think, they say things as they see them, as they think they are, and this often provokes some awkward situations, but also a lot of fun.
I remember when I was about to get ordained in Rome, a couple years ago, all of my family came in to Rome for the ceremony, and for many of them it was the first time seeing me in a cassock, and so one of my little nieces, she was probably around five years old at the time, or six, she came right out to me and she kind of tugged on the casket and she said, “why are you wearing a dress?” And so, I had to kind of explain to her what being a catholic meant, and then she said, “Oh okay, is today your coronation?” When she meant to say ordination, kids say the darndest things, kids say funny things, beautiful things, and they are not afraid to say exactly what is on their mind.
Lord in today’s Gospel, you present us with the leading citizen of your kingdom, Jesus you present us with what we could call the MVP of the kingdom of God, the most valuable player, the ideal member of the community that you want to put forward to us as a role model. Is it some CEO of a big company? Is it the fortune five hundreds top performer? Or I don’t know, thinking more of your time and place Jesus, is it the most erudite and learned rabbi or pharisee of the Sanhedrin? Well, you shock the apostles as you often do, you pull a fast one on them, a kind of riddle, and we can almost see the twinkle in your eye, as you call forward a child, and you place him in their midst, perhaps plopping the child on your lap.
We read in the gospel today, “The disciples approached Jesus and said, -Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?- He called a child over, placed it in their midst and said, Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven, whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me, see that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly father.”
Jesus, who do you reveal yourself to? If we look at the Gospels, you are not revealing yourself to the great and mighty, but rather to the poor and the simple: children, the sick, the elderly, the poor. In the moment of your incarnation, in your birth in Bethlehem, what we could consider the greatest moment of history, you reveal yourself, or rather the angels announce the news to shepherds, to poor, in a sense, forgotten by society, those poor shepherds seem to be the ones that can understand the news of the angels and follow it, and they go, they adore the child because of their great simplicity of heart, because of their childlike spirit.
The shepherds are childlike, and therefore, they become the first witnesses of the incarnation, and perhaps, the same could be said of your resurrection Jesus, what happens on Easter Sunday, you rise from the dead, and you reveal yourself to women, to Mary Magdalene, to the holy women who were people of no status in the ancient culture of Israel, and yet, they were able to receive the news, and to be the ones to report it to the world.
The apostles themselves, they were mere fishermen, they were uneducated, of little culture, they were not esteemed by the world, and yet you choose them to be the twelve to accompany you closely, and to, in a sense, establish the church. The childlike, this is who you are interested in Lord, the childlike are the ones that you surround yourself with.
Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps
Perhaps you reveal yourself to children, and you want everyone in the kingdom to be childlike, because the child is helpless in a way, and therefore open to being helped.
We Christians we have to have a disposition to receive, and to receive a lot because God wants to give us a lot, but adults, in the bad sense of the word, they are not really ready to receive anything, but they do not need to be helped, they are self-sufficient, they can figure it out, but Lord when you speak of the kingdom of God, it always comes back to these basic ideas of simplicity, humility, dependency, right, we are dependent on God, the first shall be last, it will start small like a mustard seed, like yeast in the dough, and the ideal citizen is the child, because God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.
It is interesting Lord, going back to the Gospel of the day, you say “Amen I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
That is not like an option, it is an imperative, if we want to enter the kingdom of heaven, we need to be childlike, we need to actually, achieve, as it were the humility, the simplicity of children. I remember when I was a young adult, I took my first international flight, or at least I tried to, but I showed up to the airport without a passport, I don’t know what I was thinking, you know you can’t get on an international flight unless you have a passport.
Well, how stressful it was for me to show up at the airport, and to realize that my passport was at my parents’ house, about five hours away. Well no passport, no flight, I had to wait, I think a whole day, until I could get that passport and board a plane.
The passport of humility
We can’t board as it were the plane of the kingdom of heaven without the passport of simplicity, the passport of humility, and this means we have to, in a sense, feel the urgency of becoming weak, weak in the good sense, in the sense of feeling in need of God’s help, in need of God’s love, of his support to be truly dependent on God.
And so a resolution we can make, as we finish these 10 minutes with you Jesus, is to get into the habit of asking you for help, because so often Lord, I just kind of do things on my own, I figure them out on my own, I suffer alone, I rejoice alone, but a child doesn’t act this way, she runs to mommy with each booboo, and also with each victory, but she feels the need to tell her parents everything. Well, let us involve God more in our struggle, saying small prayers like, Jesus help me, Jesus I trust in you, Jesus I need you, let us build up that healthy reflex of petition, of how a child acts with her own parents.
It´s the end
I thank you my God for the good resolution, affections, and inspirations that you have communicated to me in this meditation. I ask your help to put them into effect; my Immaculate Mother, Saint Joseph, my father and Lord, my guardian angel