Sunday's Gospel contains teaching by Jesus on two rather different subjects. First is Jesus' response to a question about the lawfulness of divorce. Second is Jesus' instruction to his disciples to allow little children to come to him. While the subject of these two teachings is very different, Jesus' teaching seems consistently oriented toward a concern for and acceptance of the vulnerable. Jesus teaches that the vulnerable, represented in the gospel by women and children, are to be welcomed by his disciples and accorded equal status in the Church by virtue of their humanity. It is a tremendously difficult ideal to bear witness to. In part because none of us wants to be vulnerable. We are driven to achieve an invulnerable condition in life marked by wealth and power. So we dissociate ourselves from weakness, illness, poverty. Sometimes the best we can do toward bearing witness to Christ's teaching is to give something to relieve hunger or provide temporary shelter, safety, or medical assistance to the vulnerable. These efforts are not to be disparaged. But Jesus would have us know deep in our being that there is no way to invulnerability apart from the love and power of God. He doesn't want us to turn to other sources of protection because they don't have our best interest at heart, and we almost always become oppressed by fear, anxiety, and a sense of inadequacy. We can never quite achieve the security and happiness we desire. He wants us to know that if we turn to and trust in God, and build a community of compassion that values the vulnerable as God values every humble heart, we will come closer to the true sense of security, abundance, and joy we are seeking for ourselves and for our children. And in the end, God will bring us into the place we cannot hope to arrive by any power of our own.