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31st Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Who Can Tell Them?

Matthew 23.1-12


Everywhere Jesus goes, people come to listen to him. He makes them curious. They want to know more about him. Like us, they learn that he is the Good Shepherd. But in the Gospel for this Sunday, it seems that Jesus wants them to know even more. He wants them to understand how they are to be together with him.

Jesus says,

you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students.

What is a rabbi? "Rabbi" means a great teacher of the Word of God. Jesus explains to the people that they are not the great teachers of the Word of God. Now the people know that they are the students who learn. Now they know that they are the ones who listen to their teacher. But who is their teacher?

Jesus says they have only one teacher. Only one person they listen to. Who is their teacher?

The sheep of the Good Shepherd could tell them.

The sheep of the Good Shepherd only listen to one person,

"because they know his voice."

Jesus says,

And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven.

The people must wonder what Jesus means. Fathers give life to their children. Fathers give children what they need. Everyone has a father on earth, do they not? Maybe. Maybe not. But Jesus wants them to know about someone else. Someone else who gives them life and gives them what they need. But who is this Father?

Jesus says they all have one Father. One Father in heaven. Who could that be?

The sheep of the Good Shepherd could tell them.

The sheep of the Good Shepherd hear him say,

"I know my own and my own know me,

just as the Father knows me and I know the Father."

Then Jesus says,

The greatest among you will be your servant.

What is a servant? A servant helps people. A servant lays down his or her life for someone else. Jesus says the greatest among them will be their servant. The people must look around at each other. Which one of them is the greatest? Which one will be their servant?

The greatest will help them. The greatest will lay down his life for them. Who is the greatest?

The sheep of the Good Shepherd could tell them.

The sheep of the Good Shepherd know that he comes so that

that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

Do the people know their one teacher?

Do they know their Father in heaven?

Do they know who is the greatest among them?

Who can tell them?

We could tell them.

We know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

He lays down his life for his sheep.

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