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14th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): What Do Children Know?

 
 

Last Sunday, we listened to Jesus tell his disciples how important children are, how people need children so that they can welcome Jesus, how God needs children so that God can feel comfortable in everyone's home. This Sunday, Jesus speaks about children again.


Jesus says,

'I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants'

In this Gospel reading, Jesus thanks God for hiding and revealing. We know what hiding means—to put something away somewhere so someone cannot find it. Revealing means showing someone where something is hidden.

We wonder what God hides.

We wonder what God reveals.


Jesus says God hides something from the wise. Who are the wise?

Being truly wise means seeing life the way God sees life. That must be good. Is Jesus speaking about people who are truly wise like God? Maybe he means people who just think they are wise. Does God hide something from people who think they are wise?


Jesus says God hides something from the intelligent. Who are the intelligent?

Intelligent means being able to know a lot of things. Adults can know a lot of things. Perhaps Jesus means the adults? Does God hide something from adults?


Jesus also says that God reveals these things to infants. Infants are little children. So, Jesus means that God shows little children something that God hides from the adults. Children see something that God sees.

Children know something that God knows.

They are truly wise.


Adults ask, what do children know? Because adults want to know, too. Adults want to see what God sees, too.


What do children know?

Children know something about Jesus. Children know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd, right? They know he


calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3).


Jesus does not count the sheep; he calls them by name! How well he knows his sheep—he knows each one of their names!


Children know that the sheep follow Jesus because,


they know his voice (John 10:4).


What does the Good Shepherd's voice sound like? Do children know?

We have a lot of knowing going on here.

The Good Shepherd knows.

The sheep know.

Children know.

It's all about knowing!


In fact, Jesus says,


I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. (John 10:14b-15)


Jesus and the sheep know each other in the same way that Jesus and God know each other. In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus says,

no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

God knows Jesus and Jesus knows God. No one else knows like this except for the ones that Jesus chooses. Who are these ones?


Perhaps he means the sheep, because they know Jesus in the same way that Jesus knows God. But Jesus uses that word reveal again. God reveals to little children... Do little children know God in the same way that Jesus knows God?


What will the people do when they hear that little children know something that has been hidden to them. Perhaps they will find a child and ask, like we did today, "What do you know?" Perhaps they will think, "Hey! I used to be a child. What did God show me? What did I know?" Perhaps they will have the joy of finding it again!

One day each of us grows up and becomes an adult, too. Will these things be hidden to us then? Or will we always carry them with us?


Here is an idea: we can get a piece of paper and a pencil or some crayons. We can make a picture of all that we know about God, all that we know about Jesus.

This is what we know.

This is what has been revealed to us.

We might ask an adult to write down what we know on the back of the paper. Then, that adult can put the paper in an envelope in a very safe spot. We can ask our adult to keep the envelope until we are older. We can let our adult decide on a good time to give us back the envelope with our picture of all that we know now about God, about Jesus. We will have the joy of discovering them all over again!

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