If there is one Bible verse invoked more than any other in the effort to convince parents to bring their children to Eucharistic Adoration, it is this one:
“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.”
And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16)
Yes, let the children come to me!
What a beautiful scene. I’m sure, when we read this account, we all picture the same thing. Something like this:
A scenic background, the glowing face of our Savior, and a crowd of peaceful, happy children gathered at His feet. The children smile at Jesus and speak to Him tenderly.
But then, as we attempt to picture our own children there around Jesus, the scene gets a bit messier.
For example, I think, well that’s nice, but I doubt my six-year-old would be able to sit still. He’d be more interested in that river and looking for frogs. I’d probably spend the whole time chasing after him.
And my five-year-old, well knowing her she’d be throwing a fit off to the side because she didn’t get to sit where she wanted to sit.
And my eight-year-old, well she’d probably be hanging on Jesus, chattering at Him and not letting Him get a word in edgewise.
My ten-year-old, who is growing like crazy right now, would probably be bugging me for food, grumpy that I didn’t bring anything with me. And my two-year-old, well he’d probably be trying to eat some rocks.
A little bit less romantic.
And the same is true about taking our children to Eucharistic Adoration.
The IDEA of kids and the whole families at Eucharistic Adoration is beautiful, all gathered around Our Lord who is truly present there…but the reality is hard and loud and often accompanied by tears.
But…pause and reread those verses from Mark with me.
Notice that the disciples were annoyed that the children were there. Why?
Likely because they were acting like children: they were throwing fits, wandering away, chattering without end, sucking on rocks, and whining for food.
The disciples were annoyed because the children that approached Jesus were REAL children, just like the ones we are raising.
For years I avoided bringing my imperfect children to eucharistic adoration because they didn’t look like the kids in this picture. I knew they wouldn’t sit still and gaze at Christ and that I would spend the whole time dealing with them.
Admittedly, I only started bringing my children to Eucharistic Adoration when my sister (a pushy nun) signed me up for an hour and made me do it.
And so I did it.
I brought my loud, rough kids to a weekly holy hour…and it wasn’t easy.
So far we’ve broken at least three holy water bowls, drawn on the floor with crayons multiple times, and left behind a mountain of crumbs. I still prefer to go to adoration alone, but all these years of bringing the kids to Adoration have taught me a powerful lesson.
They need to be there.
As I read and reread this passage from Mark’s Gospel I noticed something else. Jesus doesn’t JUST say, “Let the children come to me” He adds, “for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.”
What an amazing affirmation of children who behave like children, who wander and whine and chatter! To be a REAL child is to be holy!
And so, I beg you, listen to the words of Jesus and make time for Eucharistic Adoration as a family this summer. Let the children come to Him, right now, in all their real-life kid-ness.
Come for an hour, 30 minutes, 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter, just come. Come straight from the pool, stop by before bedtime, just come.
To help you get there, we are offering our popular Adoration Materials, which can help your family come and adore Jesus in Eucharistic Adoration.
Got a question? Read our Adoration Materials Q&A to know how our Adoration Materials can help your family!
Grab yours now…and then go and spend time with Our Lord. He is waiting for you!
In Christ Jesus,