THE LITURGY OF THE WORD

 

First Reading

Ezekiel 17:22-24

A reading from the prophet Ezekiel

I have made the small tree great.

The Lord says this:

'From the top of the cedar,

from the highest branch I will take a shoot

and plant it myself on a very high mountain.

I will plant it on the high mountain of Israel.

It will sprout branches and bear fruit,

and become a noble cedar.

Every kind of bird will live beneath it,

every winged creature rest in the shade of its branches.

And every tree of the field will learn that I, the Lord, am the one

who stunts tall trees and makes the low ones grow,

who withers green trees and makes the withered green.

I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.'

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

 

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 91:2-3, 13-16

  1. Lord it is good to give thanks to you.

 

It is good to give thanks to the Lord

to make music to your name, O Most High,

to proclaim your love 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. R.

Planted in the house of the Lord

they will flourish in the courts of our God,

still bearing fruit when they are old,

still full of sap, still green,

to proclaim that the Lord is just.

In him, my rock, there is no wrong. R.

 

Second Reading

2 Corinthians 5:6-10

A reading from the second letter of St Paul to the Corinthians

Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing the Lord.

We are always full of confidence when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight - we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord. Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him. For all the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.

The word of the Lord.

                 

Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel

Mark 4:26-34

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

The mustard seed, the smallest of all the seeds, grows into the biggest shrub of all.

Jesus said to the crowd, 'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time; he starts to reap because the harvest has come.'

He also said, 'What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.'

Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.