Unfortunately, for priests and religious these days, this passage has an edge of fear to it. Most of us who minister full time are anxious around children and are very cautious in our relationships with them. How awful! Jesus wants us to see in children an example of who we must become, not a group of people we should avoid. With that said, the passage remains very powerful.
Jesus holds up a child's innocence as an example of what his disciples need to become. Open spirited, engaged, naturally contemplative and without guile, children, who had no voice or rights at the time of Jesus, teach us how God wants us to go about in the world. The Good News is a new way of living, not a set of rules we have to obey.
Jesus asks us to hold onto the freshness and vitality of children as a way to proclaim the depth of God's love. Believing in a God who is always with us must change everything about us if it is to have an effect in the world. Unless people can find in us a zest for life and a commitment to all people, especially those without a voice, our witness will be empty. Like children, we continue to live with joy because of what God has done for and among us.
Today, let your imagination, like a child playing a game, roam with delight.
What about children most speaks to you of the Gospel?