28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Treasure
(Adults, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
Everywhere Jesus goes, people come to him. He makes them want to know more about the Kingdom of God. People ask him all sorts of questions. In the Gospel for this Sunday, we hear the question that one man asks.
As Jesus was setting out on a journey, a man ran up and knelt before him
The man runs to Jesus. He must really want to ask his question. Before he asks it, though, he kneels. He makes himself small before Jesus. Why does he do that?
We kneel when we go to Mass. The wise men kneel when they find Jesus. People kneel and make themselves small when they know they are in the presence of someone so great. What does this man know about Jesus?
The man asks Jesus,
“Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
The man is thinking about eternal life, life that never ends in death. He is thinking about the life that Jesus has after he dies on the cross, when he rises to new life, never to die again. He is thinking about the Risen life that God gives Jesus. The man wants this, too.
Jesus notices that the man calls him, "Good Teacher." Jesus asks him,
“Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
God is good. When we know that something or someone is good, it is because we know God.
Is the man wrong to call Jesus good? Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd. We know Jesus is good.
Jesus wants the man to think. Why does he call Jesus good? What does he know about Jesus? Who is Jesus?
Jesus has not forgotten the man's question about eternal life. He says,
go, sell what you own, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”
Treasure in heaven! What could this be? Who could this be?
Heaven is wherever God is, and God is good. How good, then—how great!— is the Kingdom of God?!
When the man wants to know about eternal life, Jesus calls him to come. Jesus calls the man to follow him. Just as the Good Shepherd calls his sheep, Jesus calls the man to come and follow him. Jesus knows the treasure of the Kingdom and he invites the man to come.
When the man heard this, he was shocked and went away grieving, for he had many possessions.
Grieving means the man is sad and upset. He has many things that belong to him and he does not want to give them away. He is sad and upset because he wants to keep them all. He forgets that all that belongs to him is gift.
This man kneels in front of Jesus and calls him good. He knows something about Jesus. But this man does not know what we know. His belongings are good, but are they the best? Does he know about the treasure of the Kingdom?
The man goes away. Where is he going? We wonder if he will give away his belongings. Will he come and follow Jesus? Will he find the treasure?