St Josaphat Basilica, Milwaukee
Clearly, then, Mary is the "first" of those who receive the Kingdom like a little child. This tells me that the "childlikeness" that allows us to receive and enter the Kingdom is a matter of receiving everything as a grace, as a gift, as unmerited, unearned, simply "added unto you." It is to inhabit a universe of grace, where nothing is earned, but all is bestowed. This is also the Trinitarian life: a universe of grace, where all of the Father's being is poured out in gift to the Son, who receives it whole and entire and pours it back. It is the life of the Kingdom!
Just days away from the start of Lent, I am going to take this as an invitation and an offer.