8th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): The Best
(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.)
In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus tells us some parables. We know that parables are little stories—mysteries for us to think about. We wonder what more Jesus might mean.
The first parable is a question:
“Can a blind person guide a blind person? Will not both fall into a pit?
A person who is blind cannot see. How can that person know which way to go? The person must follow someone.
Should that person follow another person who is blind? No. Both people cannot see where they are going.
How can these people follow anyone if they cannot see? Like the sheep of the Good Shepherd, they must listen very carefully. They must listen to the voice of the One who knows the way.
Who knows the way? Who can see the best? Who can lead the sheep where they need to go? The sheep know. It is Jesus, the Good Shepherd who takes such good care of his sheep.
Jesus asks another parable question,
how can you say to your neighbour, ‘Friend, let me take out the speck in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log in your own eye?
Perhaps this is why the two people are blind. They have something in their eye! If sheep get something in their eye, they cannot see very well. They need someone to help them, someone to remove the thing from their eye.
Who knows how to remove things from eyes? Who helps the best? Who wants the sheep to see? The sheep know. It is Jesus, the Good Shepherd who takes such good care of his sheep.
Then Jesus tells a new parable. It is not about sheep or people who cannot see. It is about fruit trees!
“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit; for each tree is known by its own fruit.
Jesus asks us to imagine that we are all trees! Good trees grow good fruit. We know Jesus' tree by the fruit that it grows. What kind of fruit would Jesus' tree grow?
If we were to draw a picture of the fruit on Jesus' tree, what would we put there? Would it not be the best, the tastiest, the most beautiful fruit?!
And then, if we were to draw ourselves as fruit trees, growing right next to Jesus, what fruit would we have? Would our fruit look like Jesus' fruit?