Wealth is a problem for Jesus because it stifles the capacity to hear and to respond. In Jesus’ view this capacity is found most of all in the child. In fact, the passage just before that of the rich man is that in which people are rebuked by the disciples for bringing children to Jesus and he says, “Let the children come to me…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. And then: “Amen, Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it.” And Jesus calls his disciples “children” "Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
From one perspective, Jesus is like a father to them, begetting them into his new family. But from another perspective, that of the relation of Jesus to his Father, Jesus is the Child, the archetypal child, and the disciples are children in him of the one Father. From this perspective, Jesus is the archetypal example and teacher of what it is to be a child before God. Therefore there is no paternalistic attitude here on the part of the Jesus when he calls his disciples ‘children’. Rather, it belongs to his desire to share with his disciples his communion with the Father and the Holy Spirit by granting them a share in his Sonship.
Ever-begotten anew by the Father, who is “greater than I”, Jesus lives in the amazement of having received himself as sheer gift. The Father has handed everything over to him and this knowledge is for Jesus a source of infinite amazement, wonder and gratitude. In love, he receives the gift and hands it over again to the Father in total surrender. Jesus’ thirst is for his Father’s love, and in everything he does he strives to abide in it. Jesus loves children because they thirst for love, they feel his love, surrender to it and take it with them into their lives as a matter of course. They yearn for love. They receive the gift of the kingdom as the answer to their yearning.
Reflection by Father Timothy.