Matthew described a scene along the way of Jesus’ travels: “Children were brought to Jesus so that he could place his hands on them in prayer. The disciples began to scold them, but Jesus said, ‘Let the children come to me. Do not hinder them. The kingdom of God belongs to such as these.’ And he laid his hands on their heads before he left that place” (Mt 19).
What are the qualities of children that Jesus had in mind? His statement: “The kingdom of God belongs to such as these” suggests the first Beatitude: “How blest are the poor in spirit: the reign of God is theirs” (Mt 5). Children follow the lead of their parents because they know: that they as children are powerless in themselves—they judge that their parents are trustworthy—they give themselves over completely to the care of their parents. Children know that parents have only their best interests at heart. Moreover parents are always there in need. Above all, children know that they are loved.
You expect me to be an adult, Lord. Yet you call me to be a child in what matters most, finding eternal life. I put my hand in yours that you may lead me.