People were bringing children to Jesus.

We all know that family. Maybe we are that family—the ones who bring their restless, noisy kids to Mass. Or the ones whose inattentive teenagers make it clear that they would rather be somewhere else, doing something else. They might sit at the back of church, or maybe right up front. And some people, maybe even you, kind of wish they weren’t such a distraction.

But here’s what Jesus said to his disciples when they rebuked the people bringing their children to him: “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them” (Mark 10:14). Jesus wants everyone to come to him and receive his life. That’s why he embraced and blessed even the restless, noisy, or disinterested children whose parents approached him. No one is too insignificant for him. No one is too troublesome for him. No one’s heart is too hardened.

So if you’re sitting in your pew feeling distracted by these children, let Jesus soften your heart. See the look in his eyes as he rejoices in each child moving toward him—whether they are eager or reluctant, reverent or inattentive. Jesus longs to bless them and lovingly draw them to himself. Maybe you could say a prayer for that family. You might even give some practical help by offering to hold a sleeping baby, picking up a book that has been dropped, or simply giving a supportive smile to the parents.

And if you’re a parent, don’t stop bringing your kids to Jesus. Whether they’re young and squirmy or older and seem disengaged, know that Jesus sees and welcomes them into his presence. You are demonstrating to them how essential worship is and how important it is to give time to God as a family. Even if you can’t see the ways Mass attendance is affecting your children’s lives, you can trust that Jesus will bless your efforts. He always wants you to bring the children to him!

“Lord Jesus, help me to see children the way you do!”

James 5:13-20
Psalm 141:1-3, 8
Mark 10:13-16


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