Faith and Family

Faith and Family for July 15: Parable of the Mustard Seed

READ

MT 13:24-43 OR 13:24-30

Jesus proposed another parable to the crowds, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be likened to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came and sowed weeds all through the wheat, and then went off. When the crop grew and bore fruit, the weeds appeared as well. The slaves of the householder came to him and said, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where have the weeds come from?’

CLICK HERE TO READ THE REST OF THE GOSPEL.

UNDERSTAND

by Father Greg Friedman, OFM

“Earthy” images and a practical message—that’s today’s Gospel. Jesus tells several parables—two of them dealing with gardening and one dealing with baking. A gardener finds weeds in among his crop and suspects the work of an enemy. The verdict: Wait until harvest to sort things out. The tiny mustard seed grows to become a great, sheltering tree. A woman makes bread and uses just a little yeast to make the dough rise.

For the gardeners and bakers in the congregation today, proclaiming and understanding this Gospel may be easier than for us without a green thumb, who don’t know their way around the kitchen. What would Jesus talk about if he were preaching in person today in your parish or mine?

Somehow I think he’d look around the church and imagine the world outside those walls. He’d consider the problems facing the parish, and the struggles of Christians to witness in a largely secular world which nevertheless hungers for a message of hope. And then he’d choose imagery that would fit the situation.

Lacking a personal appearance by Christ as guest preacher this Sunday, we must stay with the Gospel. Try to listen carefully and find there the message of hope: That no matter what obstacles it faces, no matter how small the efforts of Christians seem, the Kingdom of God will flourish.

Click here to listen to the audio.

DISCUSS

by Father Dan Kroger, OFM

• The first reading from Wisdom (12:13, 16-19) sees God as almighty, as the only one who has the care of all.  Then The reading praises the mercy of God. What is mercy? Give an example.

“You taught your people. . . that those who are just must be kind.” Why should we be kind to others and forgive them as God forgives us?

• In this week’s second reading (Rom 8:26-27), St. Paul says that the Spirit comes to the aid of our weakness. What is our weakness?

Why don’t we know how to pray?

•The Gospel parable about the weeds among the wheat contains a lesson about good seed and the seed for weeds sown by an enemy. Can you retell the parable in your own words?

When the owner of the land learns that bad seed was scattered in his field, why does he say, “An enemy has done this.”

ACT

by Susan Hines-Brigger

• Offer to pull weeds at your house, the house of someone you know, or even your parish grounds. Make sure to ask for permission first, though.

• Get some mustard seeds and put them in a planter. As it grows bigger, continue to transfer it to a larger pot or plant it outside. You can find lots of information on the Internet about how to grow these plants and what you can use them for. 

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