With a Little Child to Guide Them

Jesus and the Children2

Isaiah 11:1-10; Psalm 72:1-2,7-8,12-13,17; Luke 10:21-24

“The calf and the young lion shall browse together, with a little child to guide them” (Isaiah 11:1-10).

Several families agree to take a vacation together. Everyone is excited about the idea. The children start counting off the days and packing their belongings. The adults get together and start planning. This is when the trouble begins. There is disagreement over which route to take, what price hotel they will choose, who will watch the children when the adults go out alone. Then, guess what? Tension is in the air, people get mad at each other, and the spirit of the vacation starts to fizzle out. Except for the children. They didn’t really care what road was taken, how expensive the hotel was or who watched them; they just wanted to play and enjoy the new venture.

Why is it that children can “see” the vacation while they adults blind themselves by bickering.
Jesus is here with us! The children can see it and feel the excitement. Even the calves and young lions can see it. But the adults? We are planning programs, services, dinners, house-cleanings, and like Martha, in the gospel story, we don’t really see Jesus.

Today’s gospel story tells us of a time when Jesus acted like a little kid.

“Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike.” (from Luke10:21-24).

This was not a sober Jesus teaching the crowds or the focused Jesus casting out demons. It was Jesus being overcome with spiritual joy. I can see him dancing, laughing, and raising his arms in the air. Never do we see a picture of Jesus in such a childlike mood.

Why was Jesus so joyful because the Father “had hidden these things from the wise and the learned (and) revealed them to the childlike.” It was the simple people and the children who were able to see the kingdom of God among them. They are the ones Jesus felt close to.

Sadly most of us are adults and think like adults. When we read Isaiah’s vision of peace and then compare it to our world today, we realize we are further away from this age of peace than they were in Jesus’ day. We get depressed. But we are thinking like adults who still believe the kingdom of peace is something outside us. The children can sense it inside them.

Isaiah’s vision has already been born in our hearts. Jesus is here! His joy brews in our hearts as we anticipate his full coming. The children know it. Why is it we adults keep letting Satan “snuff it out?”

“Rejoice, rejoice O Israel; to thee is born Emmanuel!”

About the Author

Author Bob Garvey lives in Louisville, Kentucky. He has a master’s degree in religious education and has been an active leader in the Catholic charismatic renewal for forty years. After retiring as a high school teacher, he began to write daily commentaries on the Church’s liturgical readings and other topics relevant to Catholic spirituality. He is married to Linda, has three daughters and four grandchildren.

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