When you think of a little child, what descriptors come to mind?  Perhaps “cute,” “funny,” “honest.”  However there is another child-like descriptor which Jesus asks us to consider: “dependency.”  This word often causes those of us in first world America to recoil: “Dependency is a bad thing…why should I be dependent on anyone or anything?”  Yet Jesus’ entire life and the essence of his message is about dependency on our relationship with God.

We are invited to humbly acknowledge our own failings, our own inadequacies, our own mental and emotional blocks.  Jesus asks us to surrender the strong sense of self we possess in order to enter into union with a God who does not admonish us for our shortcomings.  Rather, this God, this all-loving parent, simply wants to be in relationship with us.  This can be liberating, much like a child’s honesty and vulnerability.

—Matt Kemper is the Director of Community Service at St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.