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Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 92
Read: Mark 4:26-34

Gospel Summary

The mustard seed is the smallest of seeds. While the early Christian community was small, this parable assures Mark’s readers that their efforts will be very fruitful in growing toward the Kingdom of God. Jesus preaches about that kingdom in today’s Gospel reading. He again uses everyday images—those of seed, sowing, growth, and harvest—to make his point that God’s kingdom is “naturally” growing. Its fruitful harvest will seem just as miraculous as when a farmer plants seeds and those seeds later sprout up into a large plant.

Reflection for Families

The special name for the type of story Jesus tells in today’s Gospel is parable. In the parables, or “simple stories” Jesus told, he used everyday objects known to all, such as salt, light, coins, yeast, and even a father and his sons to teach lessons. Jesus wanted people to be able to relate to the stories he told. He wanted everyone to be able to understand his teachings about God, and about how children of God are to live. Our children love to hear a good story, especially those they can relate to because the situations, characters, settings, or objects are familiar to them. Be mindful of this as you choose books or create stories to tell your children. Make choices that will help you share and reinforce the kingdom values Jesus taught.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family

Every family member, young or old, tall or short, big or small, is able to plant seeds of goodness, kindness, thoughtfulness, generosity, thankfulness, and love in the lives of family members, friends, and those in need in the world today. Share ideas about the possibilities for planting such seeds. Place a small, empty bowl on your family prayer table or kitchen table, and a small container of various kinds of seeds beside it. Invite family members to put a seed in the glass bowl for every seed of God’s love they plant in the coming week.

Discussion Starters

  1. A seed I would like to plant this week is . . .
  2. Here is what I will do to help my seed grow . . .
  3. A way our family can help God’s kingdom grow is . . .

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