Pope Benedict XVI in his Christmas Midnight Mass homily in 2005, said of the infant Jesus “that he can make himself vulnerable and come to us as a defenseless child, so that we can love him.” Surely here is one of the great challenges of our faith – when our instincts are to protect and insulate ourselves against the aggressive secularization of the world, Jesus teaches us another way. This other way is the way of a child, to open our hearts to the other, to make ourselves vulnerable, to risk rejection. We do this in pursuit of a great prize, yes greater even than self-protection, and that prize is friendship with Jesus Christ. It’s only in this friendship that the deepest questions of the human condition receive answers, and the deepest longings of the human heart are satisfied.
Jesus reminds us in our Gospel this weekend that some of the core understandings of our faith have been hidden from the learned and the clever and revealed instead to mere children. Let’s give thanks this weekend for the faith of the children in our parish. For their ready acceptance of the offer of friendship with Jesus, and the joy they give to us in their free expression of Gods love in their lives.