5th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Private Time With God
Last week, we heard about Jesus at the synagogue on the Sabbath, the holy day of the week for the Jewish people. The Gospel reading for this Sunday takes place right after Jesus leaves the synagogue. It is still the Sabbath; it is the same day.
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.
Remember, Simon and Andrew are brothers--they live together. Simon's wife's mother also lives with them. She is called his "mother-in-law."
Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
Jesus must not like to see Simon's mother-in-law sick. He makes her well, and immediately she gets up and takes care of Jesus and his friends! She must feel so grateful; maybe taking care of Jesus is her way of saying thank-you.
That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases
My goodness! The whole city comes to visit Jesus at Simon and Andrew's home! They want to see him so badly. Jesus makes time for all of them.
This has been a very long day for Jesus--very busy! He has taught in the synagogue, he has made a man with an unclean spirit well again, he has made Simon's mother-in-law well again, and now he has made many more people well again! All in one day! Jesus must be very tired. He will sleep well tonight.
What will Jesus do next?
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
Jesus gets up very early the next morning. Probably everybody else is still sleeping. He goes to a "deserted" place. That means it is a private place; no one else is there. Is Jesus hiding? No. It is not a hiding spot. We hear what he is doing there: Jesus prays.
After a very long day, Jesus begins his morning in prayer. Maybe he speaks to God. Maybe he listens to God. Maybe he just spends time loving God and knowing God loves him. We are not told. This is private time with God.
Can we do that, too, spend private time with God? We can ask an adult to help us make a private place in our home. It will not be a hiding place because we are not hiding. We are spending time with God.
What could we put in our private place when we spend private time with God? Perhaps there is something that helps us to think about Jesus--a picture? a cross? a candle? If we have a Bible--even if we cannot read yet--that is a very good thing to have in our prayer place. If we do not have a Bible, perhaps an adult can write one word on a piece of paper, for us to take to our prayer time. I wonder what our one word will be?