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27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Ages 3-6): Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

(Adults, you could begin by listening to verses 5 and 6 with your child.)

In the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus' friends want him to give them something. We have to listen carefully—what do the apostles want?

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

Jesus' friends want more faith. What is faith?

Faith is being certain of God. Like those sheep of the Good Shepherd. They follow because they know his voice.

He calls. They follow.

That's what they do. That's just the way it is.

That's faith.

The apostles want more faith. They do not think they have enough.

But Jesus says to his friends,

“If you had faith the size of a mustard seed...

A mustard seed? What is that?

We have mustard in jars. We do not think of it as coming from a seed.

Here are some mustard seeds—the kind in Israel, the kind that Jesus means:


They are too tiny. How can they ever grow?

Who would want faith like that?

A mustard seed is too small. It is not enough.

But Jesus says,

If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

Now that is just impossible. How can a teeny-tiny bit of faith—faith as small as a mustard seed—do something impossible?

If we drop a mustard seed, would we ever be able to find it again?

No way. Impossible.

But could it still grow?

Sure it could. Each mustard seed is so full of the life of God, just waiting to explode with growth, to become...

A photo of a mustard tree in Israel.

Whoa! That is not too small! It is enough! It is more than enough! It is abundance.

Who gives strength to the mustard seed, to make it grow? Not us.

Who can do what seems impossible?

Exactly. We know.

Even a teeny-tiny bit of faith is enough and more than enough.

Even a teeny-tiny bit of faith is abundance.

Even if we drop it,

even if we lose it somewhere along the line,

faith can still grow,

because who is with us?

Exactly. We know.

We are certain.

That is faith.

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