Readings and Reflection for Sunday June 13, Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

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FIRST READING
“I have made the low tree high.”
A reading from the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 17:22-24)

Thus says the Lord God: “I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it out; I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it upon a high and lofty mountain; on the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar; and under it will dwell all kinds of beasts; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest. And all the trees of the field shall know that I the Lord bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I the Lord have spoken, and I will do it.”

The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 92: 1-2. 12-13.14-15 (R. see la)
R/. It is good to give thanks to you, O Lord.

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your loving mercy in the morning,
and your truth in the watches of the night. R.

The just will flourish like the palm tree,
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.
Planted in the house of the Lord,
they will flourish in the courts of our God. R.

R/. It is good to give thanks to you, O Lord.

They will still bear fruit when they are old,
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is upright.
In him, my rock, there is no wrong. R.

SECOND READING          
“Whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please the Lord.”
A reading from the second Letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 5:6-10)

Brethren: We are always of good courage; 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. We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.

The word of the Lord.

ALLELUIA
Alleluia. The seed is the word of God, the sower is Christ; all who come to him will live for ever. Alleluia.

GOSPEL               
“The mustard seed is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet it becomes the greatest of all shrubs.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 4.26-34)

At that time: Jesus said to the crowds, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.” And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Today’s Reflection

The reign of God is over looked by most, like an insignificant seed, but cherished by those who know its full potential. As a plant grows unnoticed, so does the development of God’s reign escape our awareness. “We walk by faith, not by sight.” But there is a different between plant growth and the development of the reign of God. A long time is required to see the progress of a plant. However, time alone will not reveal the action of God in the world today; we need the eyes of faith. With the eyes of faith we recognize the reign of God being realized in our midst everywhere and at all times. The reigns of God, for example, unfolds in our homes whenever we are patient or forgiving towards those we live with. It may be recognized in the helping hand extended to anyone in need, or in the gentle and healing touch of a health-caretaker.

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