Saturday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Memorial Feast: Saint Maximilian Kolbe—Priest (1894-+1941), Patron Saint of Families, Prisoners, Recovery from Drug Addiction, and Political Prisoners
Book of Joshua 24:14-29, Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-8, 11, & Matthew 19:13-15
Today is the feast day of one of my favorite contemporary saints, Maximillian Kolbe. Most of us know his incredible story. As a Franciscan friar, he was arrested and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II. He voluntary died in the place of a Jewish father who was spared and returned to his wife and children. He did not even know the man he gave his life to save. In 1982, Pope John Paul II canonized Maximillian.
Today's Gospel narrative deals with making choices. The children are brought to Jesus for His blessing; however, the disciples try to send them away. Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not prevent them; for the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Jesus repeats what He said in a previous chapter when these same disciples are arguing and asking, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Our Lord rebuked them and held a child up and said, "Unless you become as little children you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven." He says whoever will humble himself as a little child will be the greatest in heaven.
Accepting faith with a childlike innocence is nice; choosing faith and all it entails from a position of knowledge and understanding is preferable. Jesus knew His followers, like Joshua, in our first reading. Making choices are sometimes very difficult. In the simplest of terms, those who choose to follow Jesus would have their reward as the greatest in heaven.
Question of the Day: Will you pray for the children of the world that the adults in their lives help lead them to Jesus and the Kingdom of heaven?
Prayer: "Greater love has no one than to lay down his life for his friends, says the Lord." Saint Maximilian Kolbe, pray for us.