Sunday, June 13
Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Roman Ordinary calendar
Book of Ezekiel 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.
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.
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.
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.
Second Letter to the Corinthians 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 one may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint Mark 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 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.
Saint Peter Chrysologus (c.406-450)
Bishop of Ravenna, Doctor of the Church
Sermon 98 ; CCL 24A, 602 (trans. ©Friends of Henry Ashworth)
“It puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade”
The kingdom of heaven, says the gospel, is like a mustard seed (…) Christ is the kingdom of heaven. Sown like a mustard seed in the garden of the Virgin’s womb, he grew up into the tree of the cross whose branches stretch across the world (…) Christ is the kingdom, because all the glory of his kingdom is within him. Christ is a man, because all humanity is restored in him. Christ is a mustard seed, because the infinitude of divine greatness is accommodated to the littleness of flesh and blood.Do we need further examples? Christ became all things in order to restore all of us in himself. The man Christ received the mustard seed which represents the kingdom of God (…); though as God he had always possessed it He sowed it in his garden. The Church is a garden extending over the whole world, tilled by the plough of the gospel, fenced in by stakes of doctrine and discipline, cleared of every harmful weed by the labor of the apostles, fragrant and lovely with perennial flowers: virgins’ lilies and martyrs’ roses, set amid the pleasant verdure of all who bear witness to Christ and the tender plants of all who have faith in him.Such then is the mustard seed which Christ sowed in his garden. When he promised a kingdom to the patriarchs the seed took root in them; with the prophets it sprang up, with the apostles it grew tall in the Church it became a great tree putting forth innumerable branches laden with gifts. And now you too must take the wings of the psalmist’s dove (Ps 68:14) (…) and fly to rest forever among those sturdy, fruitful branches. No snares are set to trap you there (Ps 91:3); fly off, then, with confidence and dwell securely in its shelter.