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 Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today we hear some of the parables or stories that Jesus told to help explain to people how to live a good life….
Read the Gospel Matthew 13:24-43
Then Jesus told them a story. He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who planted good seed in his field. That night, when everyone was asleep, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. Then the enemy went away. Later, the wheat grew and heads of grain grew on the wheat plants. But at the same time the weeds also grew. Then the man’s servants came to him and said, ‘You planted good seed in your field. Where did the weeds come from?’
The man answered, ‘An enemy planted weeds.’ The servants asked, ‘Do you want us to pull up the weeds?’ The man answered, ‘No, because when you pull up the weeds, you might also pull up the wheat. Let the weeds and the wheat grow together until the harvest time. At harvest time I will tell the workers this: First gather the weeds and tie them together to be burned. Then gather the wheat and bring it to my barn.
Jesus told them another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A man takes a mustard seed and sows it in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it grows up, it is the biggest of all plants. It becomes a tree, so that birds come and make their nests in its branches.”
Jesus told them still another parable: “The Kingdom of heaven is like this. A woman takes some yeast and mixes it with forty litres of flour until the whole batch of dough rises.”
Jesus used parables to tell all these things to the crowds; he would not say a thing to them without using a parable. He did this to make what the prophet had said come true: “I will use parables when I speak to them; I will tell them things unknown since the creation of the world.”
When Jesus had left the crowd and gone indoors, his disciples came to him and said, “Tell us what the parable about the weeds in the field means.”
Jesus answered, “The man who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world; the good seed is the people who belong to the Kingdom; the weeds are the people who belong to the Evil One; and the enemy who sowed the weeds is the Devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvest workers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered up and burnt in the fire, so the same thing will happen at the end of the age: the Son of Man will send out his angels to gather up out of his Kingdom all those who cause people to sin and all others who do evil things, and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and grind their teeth. Then God’s people will shine like the sun in their Father’s Kingdom. Listen, then, if you have ears!
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?
Jesus tells a parable – a special story – about the Kingdom of Heaven. He talks about a man who plants seeds of wheat in his field. But what happens next?
His enemy comes along and plants weeds in the field too. The man asks his workers to wait instead of pulling up the weeds straight away – he didn’t want to lose any of his wheat. At harvest time though, it is easier to tell the wheat and the weeds apart and so the workers can burn the weeds and collect up all the wheat.
Why do you think Jesus tells us stories or parables rather than just saying exactly what God’s Kingdom is like, or exactly what it is he wants us to do?
Jesus is a great teacher. He teaches people by telling stories. Stories keep people interested in what he has to say and help us to understand things that are complicated. Jesus wants us to learn from him so that we can know more about God. And when people don’t understand his stories he explains them, so that we can all understand.
In the story Jesus told, what did the wheat represent?
Believers in Jesus
And the weeds?
People who do not believe in Jesus
And who was the farmer?
Would it make sense for a wheat plant to try to look like a weed?
Of course not. Yet sometimes those who believe in Jesus try to act and look like people who are not following Jesus! We need to make sure we are living the way God wants us to live. We don’t need to “blend in” with those who are not living for God.
What are some ways that people who follow the teachings of Jesus look or act differently to other people?
The words we use or don’t use; the way we treat others; places we go or don’t go. In that way, we can share the teachings of Jesus with others by the way we act.
End with a prayer
Dear Jesus, At times I am like the field with both good seed and weeds growing in my heart. Help me to look after the good seed so that I can be full of love to share with the people I meet. 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.