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7th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Mercy Overflows

(Adults, the Gospel for this Sunday contains many instructions for how to live as a child of God. Our 3-6 year olds are not yet in that moral stage. They are in the idyllic time of being a child of God without thinking about it. We want to give them time to fall in love with God so that all that they do arises as a response to that love. They ask not how do I love God, but who is God, and who am I with God? This reflection seeks the answer to these questions in the Gospel for this Sunday.)

Jesus knows God very well. He wants other people to know God, too. In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus tells his friends about God, whom he calls the Most High.

Jesus says that God, the Most High,

is kind

What does kind mean?

Jesus also says,

your Father is merciful.

Jesus calls the Most High, our Father. This is a little funny. We have fathers already. Each of us has a different father. Some fathers are tall, some are short. Some fathers are fat and some are skinny. In some way, each of us looks a little like our own father.

But if Jesus calls God our Father, he means that God is Father of us all. We all have the same Father who is God the Most High. That means we are all,

children of the Most High

We are all part of the same family. Jesus' family!

God, the Most High, is merciful, Jesus says. God is full of mercy. But what is mercy?

Mercy is a gift. How does God give a gift?

Jesus tries to help us understand mercy. He asks us to think about God giving us some wheat seeds. We can think about God pouring the seeds into a bowl. When God fills the bowl all the way to the top, God gives us,

A good measure

It is full; that is a lot. God gives a good amount, a good measure.

But God knows that if the wheat seeds are

pressed down

there will be room in the bowl for more wheat seeds. God pours in some more.

But if God shakes the bowl, the wheat seeds will get

shaken together

and there will be even more room in the bowl. God shakes the bowl and pours in more gift.

The bowl is full, but God keeps pouring! God's gift is not finished. God keeps pouring gift until it is

running over

God gives so much, it cannot be contained inside a bowl.

What will God do with all this gift? God's gift of mercy

will be put into your lap

Mercy is God's overflowing gift for us, the children of the Most High.

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