Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B

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Lectionary: 92B
Read: Mark 4:26-34

Gospel Summary
The fourth chapter of Mark’s Gospel focuses entirely on parables. In the first part of the Gospel, Seed Grows of Itself, Jesus is pointing out that the growth of the Kingdom of God is a hidden reality that operates under God’s power rather than through human work and effort. In the second part of the Gospel, the parable of the Mustard Seed, Jesus is offering the crowds words of encouragement. What at first might seem small and insignificant will, under God’s power, become “the largest of plants.”

Reflection for Parents
In the parables, or simple stories that Jesus told, he used everyday objects such as salt, light, coins, yeast, and even a father and his sons to teach moral lessons. Jesus wanted people to relate to the stories he told, and to understand his teachings about the ways in which children of God are called to live. Children of all ages love to hear good stories, especially those they can relate to because the situations, settings, characters, or objects are familiar to them. How long has it been since you’ve shared a good story with your children? What books are on your family bookshelf? Be mindful of making story and reading choices that reflect and reinforce the kingdom values that Jesus taught.

Bringing the Good News Into Your Family
Place a small, empty bowl and a container of various kinds of seeds on your family prayer table or kitchen table. Remind your family that every person can 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 ways to do this. Invite family members to put one seed in the glass bowl for every seed of God’s love they plant in the coming week. At the end of the week, reread the parable of the Mustard Seed and—if possible—plant your seeds and be surprised by what grows!

Discussion Starters

  1. Someone who planted the seed of love in my life this past week is . . .
  2. One seed I want to plant this week is . . .
  3. One way our family can help the Kingdom of God grow is . . .