“Jesus embraced the children and blessed them.”
His tender actions leads us to wonder about the propriety of our embracing one another. Ecclesiastes, 3:5 tells us, “There is a time for embracing, and a time when the embracing must stop.”
The America where I grew up in the 1930’s took an unfavorable view of public embracing. It was alright for people to embrace kids; and I put up with it when a lady would say, “I could just hug you to death.”
A fellow named Andy, ten years older than me, came from a very religious family where there was no hugging. So, when Andy became a priest, and served for five years in Bolivia, he shocked us by hugging all around. He had a Spanish name for it: Embracio, or something like that. In comparison, my dozen years in the Orient were more temperate. We just had bowing, with the depth of our bows gauged to people’s dignity.
But with an increase of the Spanish influence in the States embracing has become common, and we have come to feel more natural about it.
If there is a religious aspect of embracing it might stem from Our Lord’s preferred way of our showing ourselves to be Christians. He said, “In this will all men know that you are my disciples, that you have love for one another.”
I don’t think our expressions of love need be kept on the intellectual level. After all, Jesus embraced those children before blessing them.