As the boy joined the queue for his lunch in the hall at Christ the King School on Thursday, he looked up at me and asked “Father, can we have that every day?” But “that” was nothing to do with the lunch that he was about to eat. “That” was a period of Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament that he had just experienced with his class as part of the School Mission this week.
Each of the Juniors classes came into one of the rooms in turn for just twenty minutes with Jesus. The Sion Community members who were giving the mission had prepared the space. They had pushed back and covered the tables and made an altar for the monstrance. Each group of 30 came in to gentle guitar music, and so entered a very special time and place. I was very impressed with the way the Sion Community were able to both explain what that white disc is, and establish the atmosphere so well that the children were soon fully engaged in this divine encounter.
During moments of quiet some opened their hands on their laps, some covered or rested their faces in their hands, some shut their eyes, some gazed at Jesus who was gazing at them. Afterwards, another child asked me whether when I had my eyes shut I was talking to Jesus. I said I was, and she said she was too... In one group the leader invited them to write with their finger on the palm of their other hand the name of someone for whom they were praying, and then to lift that hand up towards the monstrance, literally handing them over to the Lord. A few shed a tear, just a small, gentle one...
If ever I needed proof that children “understand” Jesus and his ways - as he does theirs - it was there in that room. When the subject of Adoration comes up with adults, we have so many questions, hesitations, and smoke-screens of sophistication. But Jesus said “Let the children come to me”. May I add gently after Thursday morning, “And let them teach the grown-ups too..”.