‘Jesus was indignant.’ It’s not a word that we often hear in the Gospels. But today, Mark tells us that Jesus was indignant, because his disciples were turning away little children who were brought to him. Jesus never turned anyone away, and he had a special love for children. In this Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples that the kingdom of God belongs to the little ones. He is teaching us that we can never earn our place in God’s kingdom. We can only receive God’s love and mercy as a gift from our Father, just as a child depends on his or her parents for everything. Whatever power or status we may have achieved in the world, it counts for nothing when we stand before God.
Today’s first reading, from the Book of Genesis, takes us back to the beginnings of the world. God created the whole world, and gave it to humanity to care for. Every person is made in God’s image, and all have equal value, male or female and regardless of colour or creed. Every person is unique and precious in God’s eyes, and no one is turned away from God’s kingdom.