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Living in God’s Kingdom, Now

A few years ago, I listened to a homily given, primarily, to a group of elementary school children.It was a diverse group, to be sure, and not of an age where they could have handled any complicated theological teaching and so the priest speaking to the students stuck with this message:God loved them, God was All-Powerful and if they prayed to him, God would always take care of them.
It seems, on the surface, like a fairly stock message to deliver to a group of young people attending a Catholic school.Certainly, we know that God does love us, and we all have at least some sense of the importance of prayer.And yet, I remember feeling uneasy with the talk because it left so many things unsaid.It failed to approach even the child-sized complexities of life.If God takes care of us in the way the person seemed to be implying, how then to explain the difficult experiences that cropped up in the course of any normal childhood:things like the death of a pet or bullying by other students or …

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