Like Children

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Friday of the Second Week of Advent

(Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Loreto)


Matthew 11:16-19

Jesus said to the crowds: “To what shall I compare this generation? It is like children who sit in marketplaces and call to one another, ‘We played the flute for you, but you did not dance, we sang a dirge but you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they said, ‘He is possessed by a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking and they said, ‘Look, he is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is vindicated by her works.”


Opening Prayer: Heavenly Father, I believe that you have something to say to me today. You know how much I need you! Open my heart to your Spirit and fill my life with your grace. I believe that you are good and wish to draw me closer to you. I trust in you, even though I don’t always understand your plan. Help me to draw closer to that mangerside on this Advent journey so that when you do come, I may receive you with a heart full of love. 


Encountering Christ

  1. From the Heart: In Jesus’ question, it’s easy to hear the tone of a parent or teacher concerned and exasperated, at a loss, and trying to find yet another way to be understood. But Jesus’ words come not from a place of mere frustration, but from an intense and tireless love for each of us. “How else can I reveal myself to you? How else can I show you my love? How else can I convince you that I am the very answer for all that you seek?” In this time of prayer, may we let these questions speak to our hearts and dialogue freely with the Lord about them. 
  2. Like Children: On other occasions, Jesus used the image of a child to illustrate how we must be to enter the Kingdom of God. He continually pleads with us to learn to see with his eyes and hear with his ears, even on this earth—to let him make himself present here, through our fiat. “It is like children,” he says, who know how to recognize a dirge or dance melody. A child’s simplicity is all sincerity and transparency. How much Christ desires that we approach him in this way! Perhaps the Holy Spirit invites us to pause in this moment of prayer so that he may reveal to us where we need to grow in childlike simplicity. 
  3. Wisdom’s Vindication: “Wisdom is vindicated by her works,” says Jesus. The truth speaks for itself, and it is according to truth that Christ reveals—and it is the light of truth, in this Advent season, that calls us to greater conversion. May we not take on the posture of the Pharisees and choose blindness for ourselves, but may our words express faith as we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus!” 



Conversing with Christ: Jesus, you know my heart, and you know that I wish so sincerely to follow you, to be open to what you wish, and not to insist on my own way. Open my heart to reflect the simplicity of children. May I grow to be like your Mother, who as a young girl said “yes” to your invitation, or like the shepherd children who came to adore you, or even like you, the infant King soon to be born. Draw me closer to you, Jesus, and let me continue walking with you on this Advent journey. 


Resolution: Lord, today by your grace I will strive to let my faith, my words, and my actions be authentic and coherent. 


For Further Reflection: You may wish to pray a decade or an entire rosary, entrusting your intentions to Mary as we continue on our Advent journey. 


Beth Van de Voorde is a Regnum Christi Consecrated Woman, currently serving in pastoral ministry to families in Madrid and Valencia, Spain. When she’s not reading Ratzinger or humming along to some song or another, you may find her making her pilgrim way through Spain’s timeless history of faith, walking alongside the beautiful families and young people she’s there to serve.

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