“This people shall be like this waistcloth, which is good for nothing.”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 13:1-11)
Thus said the Lord to me, “Go and buy a linen waistcloth, and put it on your loins, and do not dip it in water.” So I bought a waistcloth according to the word of the Lord, and put it on my loins. And the word of the Lord came to me a second time, “Take the waistcloth which you have bought, which is upon your loins, and arise, go to the Euphrates, and hide it there in a cleft of the rock.” So I went, and hid it by the Euphrates, as the Lord commanded me. And after many days the Lord said to me, “Arise, go to the Euphrates, and take from there the waistcloth which I commanded you to hide there.” Then I went to the Euphrates, and dug, and I took the waistcloth from the place where I had hidden it. And behold, the waistcloth was spoiled, it was good for nothing. Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Thus says the Lord: Even so will I spoil the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, who refuse to hear my words, who stubbornly follow their own heart and have gone after other gods to serve them and worship them, shall be like this waistcloth, which is good for nothing. For as the waistcloth clings to the loins of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, says the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.”
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Deuteronomy 32: 18- 19.20.21 (R. see 18b)
R. You forgot the God who gave you birth.
You were unmindful of the Rock that begot you,
and you forgot the God who gave you birth.
The Lord saw it, and spurned them,
because of the provocation of his
sons and his daughters. R.
And he said, “I will hide my face from them,
I will see what their end will be,
for they are a perverse generation,
children in whom is no faithfulness.” R.
“They have stirred me to jealousy with what is no god;
they have provoked me with their idols.
So I will stir them to jealousy with those who are no people;
I will provoke them with a foolish nation.” R.
ALLELUIA James 1.18
Alleluia. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth that we should be a kind of first fruits of his. Alleluia.
“A grain of mustard seed becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air make nests in its branches.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 13:31 -35)
At that time: Another parable Jesus put before the crowds, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed which a man took and sowed in his field; it is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened.” All this Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed he said nothing to them without a parable. This was to fulfil what was spoken by the prophet: “I will open my mouth in parables, I will utter what has been hidden since the foundation of the world.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
The parables of the mustard seed and yeast portray the inestimable value of the kingdom of God which grows gradually and surely in the hearts of those who believe and trust in Jesus as their only Lord, Saviour and Redeemer. The mustard seed and yeast are known for their smallness in size, but they contain great power to grow and become what they are meant to be. The size of the kingdom may be small but has the potential to grow and influence our lives and that of others. the values of the kingdom of God in us help us reach out to others in love and service like the branches of a tree.