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The Ultimate Payoff

I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it
Genesis 2:18-24; Psalm 128:1-6; Hebrews 2:9-11; Mark 10:2-16

Sermon Week Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 10:15

Like people, prayer comes in all shapes and sizes. At one end of the spectrum, we delight in the innocence of the little girl overheard adding a postscript to her bedtime prayer. "Dear God," she said, "Thank you for the baby brother. But what I really wanted was a puppy."

On the other end of the spectrum, a middle-aged man offers this very relatable morning prayer. "Dear God," he petitions, "Today, I've done all right. I haven't lied. I haven't lost my temper. I haven't been greedy or nasty or selfish. As far as I can see, I haven't done anything wrong. And I hope you're pleased. But, in a few minutes, I'll be getting out of bed -- and from then on, I'll be needing a lot of help!"

Faith in God, some people believe, is for children only -- a phase of life you pass through and grow out of as you become more intellectually mature. The Bible, on the other hand, gives us a different view. It reveals to us a God who is Lord of the middle-aged, Lord of the elderly, Lord of infants, Lord of little girls and boys, Lord of adolescents -- Lord of all of life.

In today's Gospel Lesson, Jesus is speaking to all God's children: "I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the Kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it" (Mk. 10:15).

In another place, Jesus calls to Him a child and says to His disciples, "Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom o heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven." Jesus is talking about our response to life itself!

When Jesus came to Galilee and began His public ministry, Matthew tells us, "He went around the whole of Galilee teaching in the synagogues, proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom and curing all kinds of diseases among the people. His fame spread. And those who were suffering from diseases and painful complaints of one [...]

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