Last week I attended a funeral in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. Although funerals are a sad time, it is also a time for family to gather. I enjoyed seeing many uncles, aunts, and cousins I rarely get a chance to see. The service, a traditional Ukrainian Catholic Divine Liturgy, brought back many memories. When Rev. Ivan Nahachewsky delivered his sermon, from an iPad, I carefully listened to his message. Rev. Ivan explained the different meanings of the nave of the church and the altar, telling us the altar represented the Kingdom of Heaven. Now the important part, Rev. Ivan stressed how the Kingdom of Heaven is available to us, right now. We do not have to wait for the Kingdom, it is here. God is always available to us, all we have to do is ask or search and we will find what we are looking for. The challenge for us is to ask or search. Often we get busy in our personal life, our work life, and our family life that we “forget” to invite the Kingdom of God into our lives.
How exactly do we invite the Kingdom of God into our lives? The answer was given to us in last week’s Gospel, Mark 10: 15-16 – “I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” We must welcome the kingdom of God in a spirit of innocence, curiosity, being humble, open minded, caring, loving, merciful, forgiving, and with humility. In many ways, we simply need to emulate the positive, inclusive children around us.