“Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” Mark 10:15
We know they have a special place in our lives. But what is it about children that makes them so privileged in our world?
For God, it’s their innocence—something Jesus says we adults should emulate if we wish to enter the Kingdom. For us, I think it’s their vulnerability. Whether we are concerned because a child is ours through parenthood or family, or just because all children everywhere are reflections of God’s love, we know that protecting the youngest is what we are called to do. How difficult that becomes when we see children suffer through no fault of their own from poverty and neglect, or from violence and natural disasters.
Yesterday was the feast of the Holy Guardian Angels, a celebration of our belief that we are strengthened in our faith by the presence of angels just as Christ was during his lifetime. So I wonder: Is it possible to think of ourselves as both having a Guardian Angel and being someone’s angel, too?
I believe we can.
The role of a Guardian Angel is to enlighten and protect—to offer guidance and support when it is needed most. Our challenge is to find ways to live our deepest Christian values in a world that doesn’t always value children. And in doing so, to discover that by modeling the role of a Guardian Angel, we are witnessing God’s love in dynamic ways. Here are some suggestions:
• Become childlike in prayer. Ask God for help in welcoming the Spirit in at all times, in all situations. And trust that it will be so.
• Allow yourself to be a little vulnerable… as a child would. After all, being vulnerable is the basis for any real relationship—with God and certainly with one another. Letting go of our facades helps build trust.
• Learn about the plight of children who may be suffering in your city or town… or in your own parish. Find a way to be someone’s Guardian Angel.
• Be present to a young child in your life. Someone may need a little guidance or even protection. You can make the difference.
Friend, I thank God for all the Guardian Angels who protected us when we were children. And I am grateful for all those who have taken on the role of Guardian Angels in their mission lives, in their families, and in their communities.
We can take comfort from Mark’s Gospel today. It’s reassurance that by
becoming child-like, one day we will inherit the Kingdom of God. May your journey be a safe one, blessed by the presence of children.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Father Lance Nadeau, M.M.
Prayer for 1st Sunday
Angel of God Most High
be my protector, guardian and guide.
Bear me up should I stumble
and shield me with Your wings
when misfortune and harm fall
like rain all ’round about me.
You Who stand before God’s throne
lead me along the path that leads to life.
Let not the enemy confuse my steps
nor cause me to stumble
lest I forget God’s love and mercy.
Keep me safe by day
and peaceful at night
that awake or asleep I remain
ever mindful of God’s grace.
May I be a guardian angel to others
especially the young, the old, the weak
and all and everyone in need of help,
comfort or protection from the
dangers and distractions of this world
till at length we meet all angels and saints
in the kingdom of God forever.
Prayer by, Father Joseph Veneroso M.M.