August 18, 2018 Saturday of the 19th Week in Ordinary Time-B

Ezekiel 18:1-10, 13, 30-32

Psalm 51

Matthew 19:13-15

…that man is virtuous—he shall surely live.  Ez. 18:9

“Let the children come to me…the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Mt. 19:14

Lord, there was a comedian a while ago who used to give as an excuse for his wrongdoing: “the devil made me do it.”  We can try to escape accountability for our actions by blaming other people, the circumstances of the day or we can even deny our evil behavior as sinful.  Your words to Ezekiel are clear:  to live in your kingdom we must be people of virtue.  You judge each of us according to our deeds.  In the gospel we hear that you cherish children in their innocence and humility.  They are not afflicted with pride or the evil vices we open ourselves to as we age.  Children take great joy in the simplest of gifts and are eager to follow those who can lead them to happiness.  A child is grateful for the love of a parent and is open to new ways of growing in peace.  Help me to embrace the virtues found in children.  Lord, keep me open and simple.  Keep me obedient and humble.   Keep me dependent and reliant on you as my teacher, guide and friend.  Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer.  Amen.