(Adults, you could begin by reading the Gospel to your child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection, then read the Gospel, then carry on with the reflection.)
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus makes his way to Jerusalem, the most holy city for the Jewish people. Jerusalem is the home of the Temple, where people come from all over (east and west, north and south) to worship God. People walk with Jesus along the way, listening to what he has to say as they travel, learning about the Kingdom and coming to know God.
Jesus went through one town and village after another, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem.
The people wonder about this journey. Why are they going to Jerusalem? What is the point of walking all this way? Jesus tells them a parable about two groups of people, knocking on the door of a house, wanting to be let in.
Many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. When once the owner of the house has got up and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then in reply he will say to you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’
Who is this first group of people showing up at the door, wanting to get in? The owner of the house does not seem to recognize them. At least, he says, he does not know where they come from.
Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I do not know where you come from
Who is the owner of the house that these people recognize but who does not recognize them? These people say that they ate and drank with him. They say he taught in their streets back in their home towns. Could the owner of the house be Jesus teaching as he travels from town to town?
Why does he not recognize this group of people? They say he taught in their streets, but they do not say what they learned. Perhaps they did not listen. Perhaps they did not come with him when they heard him teach. They just showed up at the door but did not travel with him. If they had spent time with him, if they had listened to him, surely he would know them. The journey with Jesus must be important.
Jesus then speaks of the second group of people:
Then people will come from east and west, from north and south, and will eat in the kingdom of God.
Who are the people who eat in the Kingdom of God? Why do they get to be there? What can we say about them?
We know which group of people we want to be in.
How can we make sure we are in the second group of people?
How can we make sure Jesus knows where we come from?
We must have to listen to him, just as we are doing now.
We must have to spend time with him, just as we are doing now.
The journey with Jesus must be important.