How about this…two sacramental reading days in a row! Yesterday we read about the sacrament of marriage and today we read about the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick AND Confession! James 5 teaches this very clearly. More on that in a moment. In today’s Gospel from Mark 10, we hear Jesus say, “Let the little children come to me.” Good for us kids, huh?
The Catholic Church is a sacramental church. Without getting into the old Baltimore Catechism, sacraments confer grace. Look closely at James 5 today. Why should someone who is sick summon a priest and get anointed with oil if it doesn’t do anything? It makes no sense. God actually DOES something with the sacraments. Whether it’s water, oil, bread, wine…God uses matter to interact with us. Just like He did with Jesus.
But don’t get the wrong impression. It’s not just about matter. It wouldn’t mean a thing if a priest just slathered you with oil. It must also include prayer. So…let’s pray!
Father, we thank you for the sacraments. May they help us to participate more fully in the life of the Church as we gratefully receive your grace. Amen.
I would say that the Gospel is also related to a Sacrament – Infant Baptism. As the “Kingdom of God” refers to the Church and baptism is required to be part of the Church, we should not prevent the children from coming as the Kingdom of God belongs to them.