5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Abundance
(Adults, you could begin by reading the first paragraph of the reflection to the child, then read the Gospel, and then continue with the reflection.)
Often when we listen to the Word of God we hear about people who follow Jesus. We wonder why they follow him. In the Gospel for this Sunday, we hear about a person named Simon Peter. We hear about the very moment Simon Peter begins to follow. What does he know about Jesus? Why does he follow?
Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake
The people want to hear the Word of God. They press close to Jesus so they can hear every word that he speaks. It must be difficult for Jesus to speak, though, if the people press him too much. He could get squished! If Jesus is not careful, the people will press him right into the water. When the people press close, wanting to hear the Word of God, what does Jesus do?
He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat.
That's better! No more pressing. Sitting in Simon Peter's boat, Jesus can see all the people and they can see him. He can speak the Word of God, and they can listen. Simon Peter can listen, too.
When he had finished speaking, Jesus said to Simon, “Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.”
What does Jesus want to do, now that he has finished speaking? What does "let down your nets" mean? Simon Peter is a fisherman. He uses his nets to catch fish. He and his friends lower their nets into the water, hoping that fish might swim into them and get caught.
When Jesus calls to Simon Peter, wanting to go fishing, what does Simon Peter say?
“Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets.”
If Simon Peter has worked all night long, he must be very tired. He must want to go to bed. But Simon Peter listens to Jesus. Jesus says, "let down your nets," and Simon Peter lets down his nets.
When Simon Peter listens to Jesus, what happens?
When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break. So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats
Both boats are filled with fish! Where there were no fish, now there are so many! Now there is an abundance of fish.
When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.
Why does Simon Peter follow Jesus? What does Simon Peter know?
Let's remember what has happened:
Jesus speaks the Word of God.
Simon Peter listens.
Jesus calls to Simon Peter.
Simon Peter listens.
Where there was nothing, now there is an abundance.
Just like Simon Peter, we listen to the Word of God, too. Does Jesus call to us? We wonder what he might say. We wonder if there will be an abundance of fish! Maybe not fish. We wonder what kind of abundance there will be when we listen to Jesus.