By FATHER DAMIEN GIAP     12/21/2021

If we’re paying attention, children can teach us a lot about our faith. Frequently, we overlook the valuable lessons that they demonstrate for us about being Christlike. Our little ones live in the moment. They are not distracted by what they will be doing tomorrow or what they may have done yesterday. Children focus on the moment that God has set before them, and they participate with all their heart. Whether they are playing, learning or praying, they are always “all in” and give everything to the moment before them. A child will follow willingly. They trust that we will take them, safely, where they need to go. They model how we should interact with our God.

And what better time to demonstrate these faith-filled traits than when they are helping us all to truly appreciate the Advent Season. On December 7 and 9, under the brisk evening sky, the children of St. John the Baptist Catholic School helped their faith community of family and friends to focus on the importance of preparing ourselves for the coming Christmas season. Little ones of all ages took to the outdoor stage and shared advent messages and Christmas cheer to an overflowing crowd of enthusiastic parents, grandparents and siblings.

The children remind us to slow down, take a deep breath and reflect on how we might commemorate the birth of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, one of the holiest times in our liturgical year. As adults, we sometimes have trouble admitting that we don’t know everything, but children love to learn new things and they tend to put their whole heart into the experience. Stepping away from what can be a frenzied time of party-going and shopping and remembering the true importance of this special season can be one of the greatest lessons that our children can teach us.

As we celebrate this joyous season, may we liken our hearts to those of our children. May we appreciate the good that surrounds us and notice the “wows” in life that we all too often miss. May we remember to take joy in the simple things around us and trust that whatever God sends our way is for our own good. And may we love unconditionally and not be so quick to judge as we adults so frequently do. These are all good strategies for ultimately becoming “like little children” so we might one day “enter the kingdom of heaven.”