Daily Readings & Inspiration Daily

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Reading I Ez 17:22-24

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 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16

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 2 Cor 5:6-10

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 Mk 4:26-34

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.

– – –

Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. All rights reserved. Neither this work nor any part of it may be reproduced, distributed, performed or displayed in any medium, including electronic or digital, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Seeds for the Kingdom

“If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him.” (St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross)

In today’s Gospel, we hear Jesus tell the disciples that the Kingdom of God can be compared to a mustard seed. When we hear the words “Kingdom of God”, it’s easy for us to think of Heaven and forget that those of us here on earth are part of the Kingdom of God. In this parable, Jesus includes us in the Kingdom of God and tells us how the Kingdom of God is meant to be home for everyone. 

For the past two years I have worked in a secular environment. It’s the first time I’ve really worked outside the “Catholic bubble” in my life. I love my job, but because I’m not constantly steeped in a Catholic environment, I often feel like the Church is getting smaller rather than growing. I’ve struggled with how to bring others into the Catholic Church, especially when so much about the Church is misunderstood and many people have negative feelings toward the Church. In this parable about the mustard seed and the Kingdom of Heaven, Jesus says “..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”. I think I would have struggled less if I realized that I do not have the power to make the branches longer in order to shade more people. What I can do is either bring others to the shade that is already there or plant more mustard seeds. That is, I can either bring people to the Kingdom of God or I can plant the seed of faith that will eventually grow to, hopefully, include many more people in the Kingdom. Sowing Truth will yield a great harvest for the Kingdom of God.

As we go about this week, may we pray about the ways that we can bring others to the Kingdom of God and may we strive to be seeds that reap a bountiful harvest.

Contact the author

Dakota currently lives in Denver, CO and teaches English Language Development and Spanish to high schoolers. She is married to the love of her life, Ralph. In her spare time, she reads, goes to breweries, and watches baseball. Dakota’s favorite saints are St. John Paul II (how could it not be?) and St. José Luis Sánchez del Río. She is passionate about her faith and considers herself blessed at any opportunity to share that faith with others. Check out more of her writing at https://dakotaleonard16.blogspot.com.

Feature Image Credit: https://images.unsplash.com/photo-1530790359200-e2cac35c770d?ixid=MnwxMjA3fDB8MHxzZWFyY2h8MXx8Y2hyaXN0aWFufGVufDB8fDB8fA%3D%3D&ixlib=rb-1.2.1&auto=format&fit=crop&w=600&q=60

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