Begin with a few moments of quiet.
Invite all present to sit comfortably.
When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally.
Use some of this quietening music to help come into a space of prayer
Opening ourselves to the Presence of God in our lives
Have a conversation, allowing each person present a few moments to think about and to reply to the following.
Thinking back over the week, let us share with one another
What is it that I want to say thank you for?
What is it that want to say I am sorry for?
Now begin with the following prayer:
Thank you that we can celebrate Jesus
Thank you for all He did for us
And all that He continues to do
Help us to trust in you
Even when we don’t understand what’s happening
We know you work things for good
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Introduce the Gospel
Today is the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today we are going to read from the Gospel of Matthew. Matthew tells us about a time when Jesus was teaching people about the message of God. Large crowds would often gather around Jesus to hear his teachings, many times he used parables, which are stories, in order to make it easier for people to understand his teachings. In today’s Gospel Jesus uses the parable of a farmer sowing seeds in his field to explain his message. Let‘s listen and hear what happens to those seeds as they fall on paths, on rocky ground, in patches of weeds and in good soil. ….
Read the Gospel Matthew 13:3-23
Jesus told the crowds this parable: One day a farmer went out to sow seeds in his field. As he scattered the seeds, some fell on the stony path at the edge of the field, where flocks of hungry birds flew down and gobbled them up.
Some seeds fell on rocky ground, where although they sprouted, the soil was too shallow for their roots and the baking hot sun shriveled them up.
Other seeds fell where weeds were growing, and the weeds choked them until they died. Some of the seeds landed on the farmers’ richest soil and grew into strong healthy plants”.
Jesus explained the meaning of this story to the people: “The seeds are the things which I teach you, the good news about God. Some people hear God’s word but they do not understand: this is the seed, which falls on the stony path.
“Some people welcome my words and try hard to follow my ways at first, but then they give up. They are like the seeds, which fall on rocky ground: they shrivel and die.
“Some people hear my message, but their hearts are filled with other thoughts: the message becomes choked with weeds, and they cannot produce fruit.
“The seeds that fall on rich soil is like those who hear my message and understand it: they grow strong and the harvest is great.”
Have a Conversation about the Gospel
Use some of the following questions to help in having a conversation about the message in the Gospel.
What did you remember from today’s Gospel?
What is a parable ?
A parable is a story that Jesus used to help people to understand his message.
What does Jesus mean when he is talking about the seeds in this story?
The seeds in this story refers to the good news about God that Jesus has brought to share with us.
Can you remember where all the seeds landed?
The seeds landed in the stony path, the rocky ground, the patch were the weeds were growing and in rich soil.
What happened to the seeds when they fell into these places?
The birds ate the seeds that landed on the path. The seeds that landed on the rockey ground started to grow but the soil was too shallow and so they shriveled up. The seeds that fell into the weed patch got overtaken by the weeds and did not grow but the seeds that fell onto the rich soil flourished and grew into healthy plants.
What is the teaching that Jesus is trying to explain to us in today’s Gospel?
In today’s Gospel Jesus tells us that he uses the story of the seeds and where they land to explain how people react to hearing God’s word.
When the seeds land on the stony path it represents the people who have heard God’s message but do not really understand it or listen to it properly.
When the seeds land on the rocky ground or in the soil that is filled with weeds, Jesus explains that this represents the people who listen and start off trying to follows God’s message but other things in their lives get in the way and in the end they give up trying to follow Jesus’s message.
The seeds that fall on the rich soil are like the people who open their hearts to God’s message and who really try to live as Jesus asks them to.
How can we be like the seeds that fall on the rich soil?
If we listen to God’s message and open our hearts to it, God’s love will grow in our hearts. We will be like the seeds in the rich soil that grew into healthy plants. Like a healthy plant we will produce lots of fruit by letting his love show in what we do, how we speak to others and in how we live.
End with a prayer
Dear Jesus, we ask you to help us to be like the seeds that fall on the rich soil, to listen and receive your message and to open our hearts and our lives to your love. Amen
A video to help see the Gospel Differently
Here are some activities you might like to complete during the coming week as a reminder of this Gospel today.