Exploring the Gospel

June 13, 2021

11th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Mark 4:30–34

This Sunday we return to Ordinary Time! 
During this time, we are provided with Jesus’ teachings, often in parable form. The Gospel this week finds Jesus answering the question, “What is God’s kingdom like?” by comparing it to a tiny mustard seed that grows so big that birds can rest in it. We are reminded that Jesus used these stories to teach all of his followers in a way he felt they could understand.

This video, appropriate for elementary children, offers a simple retell of this parable.
If you would like to read a Youth Friendly version of this passage, you may find it here.

Discussion Questions (Elementary):  
recall or reread the words of this week’s gospel with your children. Ask them to tell you, in their own words, what the Gospel is saying about what God’s kingdom is like. Encourage things like doing small things to accomplish something big for someone else; lots of people doing small things together can accomplish great things.

Discussion Questions (MS/HS):
As you discuss this passage with your MS/HS students, talk about how in this gospel passage Jesus presents two images for the Kingdom of God. One is the seed which is scattered on the land. The one who scattered the seed does nothing further to ensure growth, yet it grows. The second image is the mustard seed, which is tiny. But somehow it becomes the largest plant, with room in its branches for the birds to find shade. Focus on the first image and talk about how it is possible for the seed to grow without any further action. How can it grow better with our help? Have a discussion in your family about what you think the Kingdom of God is like.