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Catechesis of the Good Shepherd - Level 1 Catechist Training at Saint Patrick - Saint Anthony Church
The Mustard Seed
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by Sandra Piwko

Subject: Kingdom Parables


Title: Mustard Seed


Age: 3+


Sources: Mark 4: 30-32, Matthew 13: 31-32, Luke 13: 18-19, RPC,  chap. 8 & 10, GS&C chap. 7, History’s  Golden Thread


Liturgical Time: Ordinary Time between Christmas & Lent


Doctrinal Content: (all 3 moments)


        God is all-powerful.

        God is present in everyone and everything.

        God animates/activates/is the source of all growth processes.

        God’s kingdom is: all around us, unlimited, meant for everyone, evident everywhere we look, constantly growing.

        The kingdom is centered in God and spread by Jesus and all of us.

        Jesus taught about the Kingdom of God through parables.

        Size makes no difference in the Kingdom of God.


Moment I

Direct Aims:


        To announce that God animates/activates and is the source of the growth of the mustard tree and the Kingdom of God.

        To ponder the presence of the Kingdom of God by comparing/contrasting the tiny mustard seed with the great mustard tree.


Moment two:

        To begin to ponder where God’s power is found and announce that God is all present.


Moment three

        To begin to ponder that God’s presence and power is found within us.


Indirect Aim:


        To foster wonder and awe.

        To introduce parables.

        To prepare for future presentations.

        To introduce the relationship between God’s power, growth and transformation.

        To introduce the Kingdom of God.

        To lift up the connections between the KOG and everyday life.

        To love, desire and enjoy the KOG.

        To implicitly announce the Parousia.

        To initiate children into the mystery of life and death.

        To lay as groundwork for moral formation and form a basis for sexual education

        God works through the smallest vessels

        To foster humility, my part is a small part but necessary

        To foster respect for others

        To foster respect for the earth

        To intuit that science and religion are not in opposition


Description of Materials

  1. Mustard seeds
  2. Small, beautiful container, one a child can hold, with a lid
  3. Scripture booklet
  4. Mustard seed picture
  5. Candle, snuffer, matches, holder for spent matches, mat





  1. Gather children in a semi-circle around the mat
  2. Box with seeds, snuffer, matches on mat. Have picture off to side.





“Do you remember what a parable is? “They are stories Jesus told us to tell us more and more about the Kingdom of God.”


“When Jesus walked on earth he talked about God’s Kingdom on earth. He talked about it in parables to help us learn about God’s Kingdom.”


“Do you know what a seed is?” “What do you do with seeds?” “ Jesus said the Kingdom is like a mustard seed.” “ Why did he say that?”


“Let’s listen to his words in scripture and see if we can find out.”


Light Candle

Solemn Reading of the Text-Mustard Seed


Meditation on Scripture


“The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed-why did he say that?” “The mustard seed is the tiniest seed.” “But grows into the biggest tree.”  “Where does the power come from to grow so big?”


“I can show you the seed, they look like tiny specks.” “If you want you can hold a mustard seed.” “I will show you how.”

 (Pointer finger, place on the hand under)


“A breath could blow it off.”

(Place seed on fingers)


“Let’s listen again.”


Meditation on Scripture

“What would Jesus want us to know about the Kingdom of God from the mustard seed?”


“Is a tree just a big seed?”


“Think about the amount of power that comes from God to grow a big tree from a tiny seed.”


(Show the picture of the mustard seed)


“That tree grew from one of these seeds.” “I can’t imagine that a tree so big can grow from one of those seeds.”


Children’s Responses:


Song- Kingdom of God (same for Moment II & III)


Restoration of Materials (same for Moment II & III)

Snuff candle

Show children where the materials go on the parable shelf-(Suggest using a magnifying glass to look at seeds)


Children’s Work (same for Moment II & III)

  1. Look, marvel at seed and picture
  2. Copying the scripture story
  3. Original artwork
  4. Tracing packet
  5. Reading the scripture story with the materials
  6. Sitting at prayer table


Children’s Responses: 










CGS Level 1 Catechist Training