these little children in my name,
Gospel of Mark 9: 30-37 Reflection:
"My son, if you aspire to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for an ordeal."
This is from the book of Ecclesiasticus, the first reading today.
In the Old Testament people had to find God. Finding God required effort.
The gospel shows the other side of the coin. In the New Testament, Jesus is 'instructing his disciples' directly. He is teaching them as they walk along.
Before Jesus, it was a matter of finding God somehow, now, since Jesus has come among us, God teaches directly.
There is a huge difference in emphasis, so why do so many people still have difficulty finding God?
Jesus gives us the answer in the gospel: we have to be open, like children, to the teaching of God. Once we begin to get sophisticated like adults, and want proof and to be shown God's love before we will accept it, then God draws away as he did in Old Testament times.
The proper attitude to learning about God....one of humble childlike trust.
With this attitude God and belief are effortless....without it 'we are on our own!'