At that time the disciples approached Jesus and said, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, “Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one child such as this in my name receives me.” (Matthew 18:1-5)The Kingdom of God belongs to children, and as I listened to my students talk about all the things that they wanted to do with Jesus in heaven, I really began to understand that passage. There was something so lighthearted and joyful about their talk. Sure, I don’t know if there will be basketball courts in heaven, or if we’ll be able to play video games with Jesus (two suggestions of my students), but it was obvious that no matter what my students were doing with Jesus, only one thing was really important to them: that they were with Him. And that’s true love. It doesn’t matter what you do, just that you’re together, and as my students dreamed of heaven, it was clear that only one thing mattered to them: eternal life with Jesus Christ. We have a lot to learn from children, even the most un-churched of them. Even though most of these children do not go to Mass on a regular basis (or at all), there are some things that they understand better than the most educated of us. What is heaven? It’s an eternity with the one we love. And that’s the most important thing that we need to know. Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!
Copyright 2020 Shannon Whitmore
About the Author
Shannon Whitmore currently lives in northwestern Virginia with her husband, Andrew, and their two children, John and Felicity. When she is not caring for her children, Shannon enjoys writing for her blog, Love in the Little Things, reading fiction, and working in youth ministry. She has experience serving in the areas of youth ministry, religious education, sacramental preparation, and marriage enrichment.