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3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Why Do They Follow?

(Adults, you could begin by lighting a candle and reading the Word of God to your child. Alternatively, you could read the first paragraph of the reflection, then proclaim the Word, then return to the reflection.)


Matthew 4:12-23


This week in the Gospel, we hear Jesus calling to four people. We can count them: Simon, Andrew, James, John. One, two, three, four—four names. Simon and Andrew are brothers from one family. James and John are brothers from another family. All four brothers are fishermen. Jesus meets Simon and Andrew first.


As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea

Simon and Andrew are in their boat trying to catch fish in a net. Jesus walks by on the beach. Jesus calls to them, saying,

“Follow me.”

What do Simon and Andrew do?

Immediately they left their nets and followed him.

"Immediately" means Simon and Andrew follow him right away. They do not even have to think about it. They do not take their fishing nets with them. They just follow. We wonder why.


As he went from there, Jesus saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them.

James and John are in their father's boat trying to fix their broken fishing nets. Jesus walks by on the beach. Jesus calls them, too.


What do James and John do?

Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

James and John follow Jesus right away, too. They do not even have to think about it. They do not take their boat or their father with them. They just follow. We wonder why.


We know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He says,


I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me

(John 10:14)


We know the Good Shepherd calls his sheep by name and then goes ahead of them. And what do the sheep do?


the sheep follow him because they know his voice

(John 10:4b)


We have to wonder... Simon and Andrew and James and John follow Jesus. Do they know his voice, too?


We guess Jesus is good at calling sheep and people to follow him. He gives them all of himself:


I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

(John 10:11)


He gives them his whole life! No wonder they follow him!


They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.

(John 10:5)


They only know the voice of the Good Shepherd. We wonder what his voice sounds like? It must be a good sound. It would be good to hear that sound.


Now we have to wonder, if Jesus calls our names, would we know his voice, too?



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