This Sunday’s readings involve Jesus telling his disciples how they should receive others. The disciples were arguing about who should be considered first. Then Jesus put a child in their midst and their attitude changed because who would reject a child or put the child last. Jesus explained that welcoming children into their community is welcoming Christ in the same way.
Sometimes, when we hear a screaming or crying child our first reaction is to stare and hope that the parents take their child out of church. As a young parent myself, my wife and I have been subject to this with our daughter. Coming to Mass is one of the few times during the week with our crazy schedules that we can be together in God’s house and share this experience with our daughter. Most of the time, parishioners welcome our daughter and even greet her. If Christ can welcome children then so too should we. A visiting priest once told me that a cry from a young child is a sign of life in the church. That same priest also shared with me that this same cry is Christ calling us to come to him. So next time you hear a crying child in church consider a look of joy or even approach the family after Mass and thank them for bringing the sounds of joy into our parish.