Psalm: 77
Gospel: Mark 9:30-41
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from St. Bonaventure’s Breviloquium (Scroll down to second reading)

Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.’ (Mark 9:36-37)

If I may, I would like to share a personal story….. 😀

Last year, I had the privilege and honour to preach on the parable of the Prodigal Son. Technically, I should not be allowed to do this as I have no lay license, nor am I ordained :P.

But by the grace of God, I find myself with a congregation and pastor at St. Jude’s who have been kind enough to let me hone my homiletical skills I began to learn in seminary school, and are incredibly supportive of my ministry.

For that continued trust and oppurtunity, I am blessed, humbled and eternally grateful. ❤

In preparing the sermon, I was incredibly perplexed and nervous. What could I possibly say about a parable that is so well known and ingrained in the Christian consciousness???

I had all the exegesis done……I knew the basic narrative structure, the emphasis on repentance, the unconditional love of the Father for us all……But I felt like there was no way I could express it accurately……And then, a mircale happend 😀

On March 8th, my nephew Liam was born, and the lightbulb went on for me.

God loves us–all of us–as precious infants. With no precondition, no expectations, no hinderances……He just loves us as we are, and through all of our ups and downs. 😀

When I finally realized this….and proclaimed it out loud on Sunday….something changed within me. I realized that in the same way I could love my nephew in the first second of meeting him, that is how we are all viewed by the Father. As such, that is how we are called to recognize others. After all, we are all children of God. 🙂

Our friends, family, and even those we hate were at one time tiny infants. At one time, we were all innocent and totally dependent on another for our lives and for love and affection. None of us can claim to be any more or less special than anyone else on earth. We are all precious to God and to one another. :D. Alleluia! Alleluia! ❤