By Deacon Joseph
This past weekend I had the opportunity to baptize six children. It has been one of the greatest responsibilities I have as a deacon, to welcome into the Church the little ones of our parish. The Gospel that was read for the Baptisms was from Mark where Jesus says, “Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Jesus calls us to first allow our children to come to Him because He wants to be with them, to love them, and to bless them. We love our children and want the best for them, so not preventing them from coming to God is a good step because our hearts are made for God. The second step is to guide them to Jesus, parents are the first teachers, so the faith of the parents is often what the kids imitate.
Of course, teaching of the faith is not something that parents can’t do alone so the Church joins the parents in the work of bringing the children to Jesus. Last week we had Totus Tuus come to our parish. Totus Tuus is a weeklong program that teaches the faith, all while having fun. This year, over one hundred kids from first through sixth grade learned about the Cardinal Virtues, the Theological Virtues, and the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. I was able to sit in on a few classes and I was amazed to hear the deep questions and thoughts the kids shared. They truly wanted to come to God and to know Him.
In the first week of August, Mikayla Anderson, our youth minister will be taking 70 of our middle to high school students to Extreme Faith Camp where they will learn the faith, build relationships with each other, have fun, and most importantly come to Jesus. Many of those who have gone to EFC have shared testimonies on how it really deepened their relationship with God, and I met many who have discerned priesthood and religious life because of the encounter they had with Jesus at EFC. Keep our youth in your prayers and have a special intention for them in the first week of August.
Their hearts, like ours are made for God. Please help our children come to God by keeping them in your prayers, by living out your faith, and by bringing them to church. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.