(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.)
The Gospel for this Sunday begins with Jesus coming down from a mountain where he has been spending time with his friends.
Jesus came down with the twelve and stood on a level place
They have all been up on a great mountain together, but now they are on a level place. A level place is flat; there are no hills. When everything is flat, no one stands higher or lower than anyone else. Everyone stands together.
Jesus and his friends meet other people on the level ground:
a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon.
A great crowd of people! People love to come to Jesus. They like to watch what he does. They like to listen to what he has to say.
With all these people gathered around him on the level place, what does Jesus do?
Then he looked up at his disciples
He looks up at his disciples. Up? If Jesus looks up at the people, then they are standing higher up than him. How can this be? Everyone is standing on level ground. No one is standing up higher than anyone else.
If he is looking up at the people, Jesus must not be standing.
Perhaps he is sitting.
Perhaps he is kneeling
Perhaps he is squatting.
Jesus has made himself smaller than the people.
We wonder why.
We make ourselves small before God, because we know God is so great. We know God is so good. Does Jesus make himself small because he thinks the people are God? No. The people are not God. But Jesus knows something about them. What does Jesus know?
Jesus squats down in front of all the people and says,
“Blessed are you
What does blessed mean?
If someone is blessed, then God sees that person is good. When we pray to Mary, we say her cousin Elizabeth's words, "Blessed are you among women." Elizabeth knows— and we know—that God sees Mary as very good.
Jesus makes himself small before the people and he calls them blessed. Jesus knows that God sees them as good.
“Blessed are you who are poor
Jesus sees that the poor are good. Who are the poor?
If people are poor, they do not have everything they need. Poor people know they need someone to give them what they need.
When Jesus makes himself small before all the people, he sees those people who have a need. And Jesus tells them something very special:
yours is the kingdom of God.
People who know they have a need, have the Kingdom of God.
God sees them as good, and God gives them the Kingdom.
Kneeling down in front of them, Jesus says,
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
God does not want people to be hungry. People need food.
Jesus knows. God will fill them up.
Squatting down in front of them, Jesus says,
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
God does not want people to cry. People need joy.
Jesus knows. God will make them laugh again.
Is there anything God will not give people who are in need?
yours is the kingdom of God.
Jesus says this to the poor. Are we poor?
We might say, no.
We might say, yes.
We might say, we don't know.
Are we blessed? Are we good?
We notice that Jesus makes himself small before all the people.
He kneels down in front of them all—the rich and the poor—because he knows something about all of them. He sees all of them as good.
What does Jesus know about us?