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Sunday Reflection

Photo by THỌ VƯƠNG HỒNG courtesy of Pixabay.com.

Prayer:

Good and gracious God, help me to sow seeds of love, hope, and trust in You and to be patient as You help them grow, bear fruit, and multiply in your Kingdom. Amen.

Readings:

Ez 17:22-24
Ps 92:2-3,13-16
2 Cor 5:6-10
Mk 4:26-34
Read at bible.usccb.org.

We plant, but God’s grace makes seeds grow.

Jesus often used simple yet profound parables and stories in His teachings about the Kingdom of God. He likened the growth of tiny seeds to the patience and trust required in our spiritual journey. This message resonates with us today, reminding us that even the smallest acts of faith can lead to incredible spiritual growth…in ourselves and others.

In our daily lives, we can take comfort in the fact that the Holy Spirit, our divine Gardener, works wonders with the seeds of faith we sow. When we do our part and leave the rest to God, the Holy Spirit grows miracles around us. We must trust the supernatural work of God to take our efforts and turn them into good. Our part involves planting seeds of faith through our steady prayers, trusting in God’s Holy Will through our small and large actions of obedience, and generously sharing the Gospel of Christ with others through our words and loving deeds. This is what Jesus meant by building the Kingdom of God. Just as one cannot stand in front of a flower garden and notice it growing moment-by-moment from the seeds we plant, we know that if we keep watering and weeding, God will provide everything else and, in good time (God’s perfect timing), the garden of our lives will blossom and be beautiful.

Through our Baptism, we are not just followers but active participants in building up the Kingdom of God. This involves sharing the Gospel and our faith in Jesus daily. The seeds we plant are often little things like mentioning prayer and thankfulness to God when speaking with family and friends. It might be the little acts of kindness we show others when they need help or a lift. Our joy and hope in Christ are seen in our steadfast commitment to attending Mass and living a sacramental life even when life becomes busy and challenging. These seemingly small actions are the seeds that, with the grace of God and guidance of the Holy Spirit, can grow into a flourishing Kingdom of God in our lives and communities.

Reflect and Discuss:

  • How are you planting seeds of faith in your family, community of friends and acquaintances, and the larger world?
  • How are you tending to the seeds of faith you are planting in others?
  • Who planted and tended to the seeds of faith in you, and was patience needed for you to grow?
  • As weeds can crowd out a garden and stunt growth, what must we work to weed out of our lives and society to help the Kingdom of God grow in holiness?
  • How does trusting in the potential of God’s grace to grow the seeds of faith we plant help us in ministry?

© 2024 Catholic Digital Resources. For individual use only. Want to use our reflections in your parish bulletin, newsletter, or small study group? Visit catholicdr.com/sunday-reflections for parish and small group licensing.

Beth Solis, a group facilitator in Oklahoma, says, "Our members asked us in the beginning if we minded taking things slowly so we could have time to really discuss each paragraph. We always have such great discussion! The PPT has been very helpful and is a nice addition."

study group

Feedback from a study group in Florida

Sylvia says, "This experience deepened my love for the Eucharist in ways I couldn’t imagine when we first started this course."

Karen says, "I never thought that I would read an encyclical. However, using the study guide made this experience so rewarding. It broadened my view about the Eucharist and my Catholic faith that makes me love and appreciate what Jesus did for us ever more deeply."

Tim says, "Being the only convert in the group, I ascertained a better and stronger understanding of the importance of the Eucharist, not only in the Mass but also in my daily life."

Jimmy says, "I learned so much about the Eucharist that was powerful and enlightening. This course helped deepen my faith and my appreciation for the Holy Mass."

Erin says, "It was amazing to get everyone’s perspective on the readings. And it deepened my love in the beautiful gift that the Eucharist is to all humanity for our salvation."

Shirley says, "This course was so enlightening. It was a gift that helped me grow in my faith."

Which PowerPoint Presentations cover what Sacraments?

An overview of all 7 sacraments is in the PPT
"The Nature and Function of the Church".

PLUS: The sacraments are also covered in the following PPTs:

Baptism - The Call to Discipleship
& it's further developed in
1. Confession: Sacrament of Healing
2. The Creed
3. Mission of the Redeemer

Eucharist - Christ's True Presence in the Mass
& it's further developed in
1. Life in Jesus
2. Who's Who in the Catholic Church
3. Confession: Sacrament of Healing
4. The Creed

Confirmation - The Sacrament of Confirmation
& it's further developed in
1. Salvation History
2. The Nicene Creed

Reconciliation - Confession: Sacrament of Healing
& it's further developed in
1. Who's Who in the Catholic Church

Anointing of the Sick is covered primarily in
The Nature and Function of the Church

Holy Orders - Who's Who in the Catholic Church
& it's further developed in
1. Christ's True Presence in the Mass

Marriage is touched on in The Call to Discipleship