Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst, and putting his arms around it, he said to them, "Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me."Listen to my homily for the day:
Mass readings for the day.
Little children go through a stage where they need immediate, tactile, loving affirmation. They place themselves in front of you waiting for this. People are like little children, and especially if they didn't get that kind of love when they were young, will always scrape after it later.
The Holy Eucharist is where the Father touches us, embraces us, and shows us that he has created each one of us and unique, precious, and unrepeatable to him. Each person is really a unique expression or emanation of the Father's love and each person has a place in the Father's heart reserved only for them.
When people don't feel this love, the result is jealousy and anger, which are what the readings for the day are about. Why were the apostles discussing who is more important? Why in the second reading does St James say that all these passions and jealousies arise among us? Why in the first reading do the wicked get jealous of the just? Because their vain insecurity excites what is evil in their hearts. They don't feel the unique, precious, and unrepeatable love of Abba Father, and so they try to find it some other way. Married want to be single, single want to be married. Brown want to be white and white want to be brown. Why? Why do you not see that you are beautiful the way you are?
It is particularly hard for the suffering soul to see the value of the cross when they compare themselves to others. How easy it is to think that we have it harder than others! Yet just like the expression of the Father's love for us is unique, so is his cross that he has pre-measured just for us. When Jesus was predicting in the Gospel his passion, death, and resurrection, he was also predicting this for our own lives as well. The wonderful thing is that when we enter into sufferings, this is the doorway to entering into greater merit, greater enjoyment of God's eternal beatitude in heaven. But only faith lets us see that right now.
Discipleship is living that interior discipline of life where we make clear and solid decisions to allow God the Father to embrace us: frequent reception of the sacraments, devout and consistent daily prayer life, repentance and ascesis, with works of mercy and kindness to our neighbor, especially those in our own home.
Here is some medication we need to help us, a TAJ pill. Taj means in persian, a royal crown. This is a crown for a disciple:
Vitamin T - Thanksgiving - to be grateful to God that he made us just the way we are.
Vitamin A - Acceptance - to accept whatever God has given us as our own participation in the paschal mystery of Jesus.
Vitamin - J - JOY that comes from being thanksgiving and accepting of everything we are and have that we are not and do not have.
May Our Lady help us to experience the Love of the Father and be thankful, accepting, and joyful disciples of Jesus.