For Parents To Teach To Their Children
This week we learn about parables and the wonderful, short parable about the mustard seed. Jesus taught his disciples and followers through stories that would make sense to them. He put everyday situations into simple stories that the people listening could relate to. This type of story is called a “parable.” There are many parables that Jesus taught as he traveled throughout the land. He had many followers join his ministry as he taught through the use of parables.
When I was a child, I remember seeing girls wearing a tiny seed in a glass ball on a chain around their necks. They were a popular jewelry item in the 1950s and 1960s. I asked one girl what her necklace was. She told me it was a mustard seed that could grow into a very large tree. I didn’t come from a religious family, so I didn’t know the significance of the mustard seed. The children with these necklaces had a constant reminder that everything is possible with God– A tiny seed can grow into a large tree. It is also a metaphor for the Christian faith which began small then grew into a religion that spread worldwide.
“The Parable of the Mustard Seed” Source: USCCB.org Matthew, chapter 13:31-32
“He proposed another parable to them. ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”
“The Mustard Seed.” “Mark 4:26-34”
“He said, ‘To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use for it?
It is like a mustard seed that, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on the earth.
But once it is sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.’
With many such parables he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them, but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.”
Plants in My Yard and On My Street
Pods, Acorns and Seeds!
For fun and enrichment, I included three “posters” about seeds that grow into big trees, like the mustard seed. When my husband and I moved to Florida from California, we bought a house that had a large Black Oak tree and a young Mango tree that has not yet grown flowers or fruit. My front door opens out to see three gorgeous Poinciana trees across the street in my neighbors’ yard. Right now, the Poinciana trees are blooming with bright red flowers throughout my neighborhood. The trees drop huge seed pods, about a foot or more, long, that open on impact and spread the seeds. Here is a basket of Poinciana pods that I can’t help but collect, and a plate of mangoes from a friend. Florida is a beautiful, subtropical place that can grow many wonderful and delicious plants, vegetables, trees, and flowers!
“Bless us, O Lord, and these, Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty.
Through Christ, our Lord.”
Our Art Gallery
Kids’ Posters–“God’s Gift to Us”
Little Seeds That Grow Big Trees
Our Art Project
A Mustard Tree Painted with Crumpled Aluminum
Materials and Methods
This is an easy and quick painting project that requires three things–kids’ tempera or poster paint, watercolor paper for durability, and aluminum foil from the kitchen. I use paper plates for my palettes. First, pour out several globs of paint onto a paper or ceramic plate. Next, tear off three pieces of aluminum foil and then crumple and shape the foil as you wish. Dip the foil balls into the desired paint colors and press onto the paper. At first, you may have to dip and paint several times for the desired effect. After the tree and trunk are painted, add mustard tree “petals” on the ground, then use a new ball to paint the blue sky. Let dry. Then hang it on the wall!
A Reading from MagnifiKid! July 19, 2020. Vol. 17. Part B. Section 4. Page 8-9
“The Kingdom of Heaven”
“In the Gospel, Jesus often speaks about the Kingdom of God. To explain what it is, he uses parables. He says, for example, that the Kingdom of God is like a feast to which we are invited, or a pearl of great value. This Sunday, Jesus’ parable is about a field. In all of these parables, we understand that the Kingdom is something that is happening, growing, being discovered now, but that is not yet finished. To put it another way, the Kingdom of God is both ‘already’ here, and ‘not yet’ here.”
“The Use of Parables”
“All these things Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables. He spoke to them only in parables, to fulfill what had been said through the prophet:
‘I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation [of the world.'”
Source: USCCB.org Matthew, chapter 13:34-35
“The Parable of the Weeds Among the Wheat” Matthew, chapter 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?’
He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’
His slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
He replied, ‘No, if you pull up the weeds
you might uproot the wheat along with them.
Let them grow together until harvest;
then at harvest time I will say to the harvesters,
‘First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles for burning;
but gather the wheat into my barn.’’”