4th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Who Are The Poor In Spirit?
(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.)
We know that in the Bible, Jesus walks from town to town teaching about the Kingdom of God. People follow him because they love to hear his voice. In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus takes a break from walking. He sits down. But Jesus does not stop teaching about the Kingdom of God. Oh no. The people still get to listen to his voice.
When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God.
What does Jesus mean?
He begins with the word "Blessed." It means God is pleased with you.
God is pleased with the poor in spirit.
Who are they?
Someone who is poor does not have something of their own.
The poor in food are hungry. They do not have food of their own. Someone has to give some to them.
The poor in clothing are cold. They do not have clothes of their own. Someone has to give some to them.
The poor in homes are lonely. They have nowhere to live. Someone has to find a home for them.
But what about the poor in spirit?
The poor in spirit are small. The poor in spirit do not make themselves big all by themselves. They do not have spirit of their own. God has to give the Holy Spirit to them.
Do we know anyone who is small?
Jesus seems to like small things. He likes the Mustard Seed that someone took and planted in his field. It is the smallest of all the seeds. It cannot make itself big all by itself. It does not have spirit of its own. God fills it with life, with the Holy Spirit. Full of the strength of God, it grows. The Kingdom of God is like this, he says.
But the Mustard Seed is not the only thing that is small. Other seeds are small, too. They cannot make themselves big by themselves. They cannot become flowers and pumpkins and lettuce and apples and trees on their own. God fills them with life, with the Holy Spirit. Full of the strength of God, they grow. Theirs is the Kingdom of God
But seeds are not the only things that are small either. Who else do we know who starts so small? Who else do we know who cannot make themselves big all by themselves? Who else does God fill with life, with the Holy Spirit?
Full of the strength of God, we grow. Ours is the Kingdom of God.