One parable work the younger ones (and some older) are seeing in Level II is the synthesis of the growth parables. This presentation draws together the parables of the mustard seed and the leaven, two favorites of the children--especially those who have seen them since they were 3 years old! The children wonder together with the catechist at the lesson these parables have for us about the Kingdom of Heaven. A few insights the children come to:
- There is a mysterious power at work in both the seed and the leaven that causes the growth and "leavening" of the tree and bread.
- In both cases, the seed and the leaven seem small and insignificant. The Kingdom must also have this appearance: starting small, not seeming so important, but then it becomes something greater, something beautiful.
- We also start small--in our mother's wombs! We did not cause our own growth, could that same mysterious power be at work in us? What is this power? (The children all know and answer: God!)
It is a privilege to sit with the children as we think about these parables together. Catechists will tell you that no matter how many times they sit and listen with the children, there is always a discovery of something new and beautiful in the parable.
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.” Mark 4:30-32
He spoke to them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed with three measures of wheat flour until the whole batch was leavened.” Matthew 13:33