O God, You sent Jesus to teach us about Your love. He showed us that it included the children, whom the disciples would have turned away. Today we pray that we, too, can learn to gather them to our knees, lay our hands upon them and bless them.
Those of us who had a happy childhood now lift up our hearts in gratitude for those blessed years of peace and security, of contentment and love. We thank you for parents who demonstrated, as far as is humanly possible, what God’s love is like. Out of our treasures of health and energy, of courage, of time, talents and money, guide us to act for children everywhere, that children who are not our own may have a better chance.
Those of us who had unhappy childhoods thank you, too. We thank you that we survived whole. Some of us suffered serious illnesses and physical pain. Use those experiences to give us patience and sympathy with all who are ill and in pain now. Some of us suffered rejection and betrayal, and sometimes still feel angry. Heal those emotional traumas in us as we reach out to help today’s children, children who are angry, who offend society because they have suffered cruelty and institutionalization. Some of us had a childhood darkened by death and loneliness. Help us to survive by reaching out to the homeless and bereft.
Help us to remember Jesus’ words, “As you did it to one of the least of these, my little ones, you did it to me.”
In the name of the one who gathered the children to his knees, laid his hands on their heads, and blessed them, Jesus, our Lord.