Amoris Laetitae (continued)

December 2, 2021

CHAPTER ONE: Your children are as the shoots of an olive tree

The Gospel goes on to remind us that children are not the property of a family, but have their own lives to lead. Jesus is a model of obedience to his earthly parents, placing himself under their charge (cf. Lk 2:51), but he also shows that children’s life decisions and their Christian vocation may demand a parting for the sake of the Kingdom of God (cf. Mt 10:34-37; Lk 9:59- 62).

Jesus himself, at twelve years of age, tells Mary and Joseph that he has a greater mission to accomplish apart from his earthly family (cf. Lk 2:48-50).

In this way, he shows the need for other, deeper bonds even within the family: “My mother and my brethren are those who hear the word of God and do it” (Lk 8:21).

All the same,in the concern he shows for children whom the societies of the ancient Near East viewed as subjects without particular rights and even as family property Jesus goes so far as to present them as teachers, on account of their simple trust and spontaneity towards others. “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 18:3-4).

(For simplified reading, footnotes have been removed. The entire document can be downloaded here: bit.ly/MIA_AmorisLaetitia)