Shopping with young children can be a nightmare. I’m confident it’s no accident that the checkout line has troves of brightly colored trinkets positioned directly at eye level. “But Daddy, I need it…” is a line I’ve heard more than once. Leaving with some semblance of respectability is made only harder when the “it” becomes “them.” 

It can be tough, no matter our age, to discover what truly matters amid all the distractions.

Ignatius, at the start of the Spiritual Exercises, encourages us to meet Jesus in prayer so that we might “rid ourselves of all inordinate attachments.” It is a challenge that the crowds in today’s Gospel, floundering in fickleness, might have found helpful too.

And so for us, with all the building joy and busyness of the season, we might ask ourselves what truly matters in this moment. In this case especially, the more is the merrier.

—Jordan Skarr works with the Jesuits at the Midwest province office in Chicago, assisting with programming for pastoral ministries.