Gospel and Readings 13.6.2021

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 92

Reading I

Thus says the Lord GOD:
I, too, will take from the crest of the cedar,
from its topmost branches tear off a tender shoot,
and plant it on a high and lofty mountain;
on the mountain heights of Israel I will plant it.
It shall put forth branches and bear fruit,
and become a majestic cedar.
Birds of every kind shall dwell beneath it,
every winged thing in the shade of its boughs.
And all the trees of the field shall know
that I, the LORD,
bring low the high tree,
lift high the lowly tree,
wither up the green tree,
and make the withered tree bloom.
As I, the LORD, have spoken, so will I do.

Responsorial Psalm

R. (cf. 2a) Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praise to your name, Most High,
To proclaim your kindness at dawn
and your faithfulness throughout the night.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
The just one shall flourish like the palm tree,
like a cedar of Lebanon shall he grow.
They that are planted in the house of the LORD
shall flourish in the courts of our God.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.
They shall bear fruit even in old age;
vigorous and sturdy shall they be,
Declaring how just is the LORD,
my rock, in whom there is no wrong.
R. Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.

Reading II

Brothers and sisters:
We are always courageous,
although we know that while we are at home in the body
we are away from the Lord,
for we walk by faith, not by sight.
Yet we are courageous,
and we would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord.
Therefore, we aspire to please him,
whether we are at home or away.
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,
so that each may receive recompense,
according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower.
All who come to him will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel

Jesus said to the crowds:
“This is how it is with the kingdom of God;
it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land
and would sleep and rise night and day
and through it all the seed would sprout and grow,
he knows not how.
Of its own accord the land yields fruit,
first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear.
And when the grain is ripe, he wields the sickle at once,
for the harvest has come.”

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.”
With many such parables
he spoke the word to them as they were able to understand it.
Without parables he did not speak to them,
but to his own disciples he explained everything in private.

REFLECTION

From Catholic Daily reflections.com

Jesus said to the crowds: “This is how it is with the kingdom of God; it is as if a man were to scatter seed on the land and would sleep and rise night and day and through it all the seed would sprout and grow, he knows not how.”  Mark 4:26–27

What a beautiful image of the sprouting, growing and coming to fruition of the Kingdom of God in our midst!

God wills that His Kingdom come.  We pray this in the Lord’s Prayer.  What does it mean when we pray for His Kingdom to come?  First, it means that God wants to come and dwell within us, establishing His Kingdom within our hearts and souls.  We must become living members of His Kingdom, and He must be our Ruler and Guide.

Second, we understand this to be the establishment of His laws and will in our world.  This means that the social, political and cultural order must be transformed by God’s grace so as to participate in and bear the fruit of His Kingdom.  We have work to do!

Third, it means that we anticipate the final and glorious coming of His Kingdom when Jesus returns in splendor and glory.  In the end, all things will be transformed, and God will bring forth His final judgment upon the world, making all things new.

But this passage above especially reveals to us “how” this will happen.  It reveals that God’s Kingdom will slowly, gently and miraculously take hold.  This will happen in our lives, it will happen in our world as we Christians commit ourselves to this work, and it will miraculously happen at the end of time when Jesus returns.

Think about this image Jesus gives us.  The farmer plants the seed and slowly it sprouts, grows and produces fruit.  As this happens, the farmer “knows not how.”

Reflect, today, upon the mysterious ways that God establishes His Kingdom.  He is in charge of it first and foremost.  But you must do your part.  You must make your heart and world around you fertile ground.  You must plant the seed, water it as needed but then let God do His part.  God wants to bring forth His Kingdom in your life and in the world far more than any of us.  But if you do your part, you also will be amazed as you watch grow His glorious handiwork of grace.

Lord, help my heart to be fertile soil for Your Kingdom.  Help me to allow You to grow Your Kingdom in my heart and help me to be an instrument of that Kingdom in our world.  Jesus, I trust in You.