Sto. Niño and “accepting the kingdom of God”

The gospel of Mark (10:13-16) says that “he who does not accept the kingdom of God as a child cannot enter it.” How does a child accept God’s kingdom?

The phrase, “kingdom of God” or “reign of God” and “accept” it, usually refers to awareness of God the Father’s (Mother’s) presence. St. Mark suggests that Jesus as a child was always aware of His Father’s love and care. When Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple they told Him how they suffered in looking for Him. To that He replied, “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Lk 2:49). In Mark’s and Matthew’s and John’s gospels Jesus speaks often of His Father.

In the day-to-day life of most of our Catholic families many children do not experience their fathers’ love and care. This is a pastoral issue confronting our Family Life Apostolate. There are only few exceptions. To be sure, these can be found in both poor and rich families. But to make these exceptions the rule and norm is a formidable challenge for the Church and her evangelizing work for and with families. The objective of forming “evangelized and evangelizing families” is a worthwhile pastoral program which needs both the prayer of the Sto. Niño and the humble work of evangelizers with a child’s attitude.

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