The little girl looked up at me with innocent eyes. She was in the pew on front of me playing with her doll. She wasn’t facing the front like everyone else; she was oblivious. I don’t often go to Mass, but I’m glad I did that day. Though the girl had no idea what the priest was saying, she had her own sermon.
First, let’s talk about humans and God. For a long time (thousands of years, at least) humans have done stuff to get right with God. They’ve done dances, killed animals, prayed along beads. It’s nothing new.
But Jesus came along and said new stuff. He talked about a burden you can actually bear - an easy one. He spoke to God as though God were his dad. Jesus seemed to communicate with everything He did “God is here. It’s good news and there’s no need to work to get on his good side.”
We don’t need to do stuff in order for God to like us. And if there was a sacrifice needed… Boom. Jesus took care of it.
Back to Mass, the priest, and the hundred foot walls. While we said prayers, stood, sat, read and flung incense around, this girl just got on with her life. She played with her doll and made kissing noises as she pressed it against her baby sister.
On holy ground, she remained herself.
Meanwhile, the mature, intelligent adults felt compelled go through lists of ritual.
I wonder if we could all use a dose of what this girl had. I wonder why Jesus said over and over that the Kingdom belongs to children.
I don’t mean to slight liturgy. I love the paths they create. But I wonder if we get lost in them at times.
What would you do if you assumed that God was okay with you?
Would it change anything? Would it change decisions? Would it color the way you do life? Would it put any light in your soul?
The good news, the Gospel, is that we are indeed that little girl. There’s no need to wonder where we stand.
Jesus, it’s a terrifying to think God is mad at me. Sometimes I’m scared I need to do more to be acceptable. But you showed me I don’t need to lift another finger. I can get on enjoying my life. Thank you. Amen.