14th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A
3-6 year olds
(Adults, you could begin by reading the Gospel aloud to the child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
Last Sunday, we listened to Jesus' message saying how important you are, how people need you so that they can welcome Jesus, how God needs you so that God can feel comfortable in everyone's home. This Sunday, Jesus speaks about you again.
'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'
Jesus is thanking God for hiding something. God has hidden something from the wise and intelligent people. Who are the wise and intelligent ones?
Being truly wise means seeing life the way God sees it. I wonder if Jesus is talking about people who are truly wise like God? Or maybe they just think they are wise. Has God hidden something from people who think they are wise?
Intelligent means smart. People who know a lot of things are smart. I wonder if he means the adults? Has God hidden something from adults?
Jesus also says that God has revealed these things to infants. Infants are little children. Reveal means to show. So, Jesus is saying that little children have been shown something that has been hidden from the adults. They see something that God sees, so they are truly wise. They know something that God knows.
I'm thinking he means you.
So I want to know, what do you know? Because I want to see what God sees. I want to find what has been hidden.
What do you know?
You know something about Jesus. You know that he is the Good Shepherd who,
calls his own sheep by name and leads them out (John 10:3).
He doesn't count them, he calls them by name! How well he knows his sheep if he knows each one of their names!
You know that the sheep follow Jesus because,
they know his voice (John 10:4).
Here is something that the sheep know. I wonder what the Good Shepherd's voice sounds like. Do you know?
There is a lot of knowing going on here. The Good Shepherd knows. The sheep know. You 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? He must meant the sheep, because they know Jesus in the same way that Jesus knows God. But Jesus uses the word reveal again. So is he talking about what has been revealed to little children? Do little children know God in the same way that Jesus knows God? Do you?
I wonder what the people will do when they hear that little children know something that has been hidden to them. I wonder if they will find a child and ask, like I did, what do you know? I wonder if they will think, "Hey! I was a child once. What was I shown that now is hidden to me?" I wonder if they will have the joy of finding again?
One day you will be an adult, too. Will these things be hidden to you then? Or will you always carry them with you? Here is an idea: get a piece of paper and a pencil or some crayons. Make a picture of all that you know about God, all that you know about Jesus. This is what you know. This is what has been revealed to you. You might ask an adult to write down what you know on the back of the paper. Then, ask that adult to put the paper in an envelope in a very safe spot. Ask your adult to keep the envelope until you are older--perhaps until your Confirmation, or when you turn 16, or when you are an adult. Let your adult decide on a good time to give you back the envelope with your picture of all that you know now about God, about Jesus. Then, if these things have been hidden to you, you will have the joy of discovering them all again!