XI SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME – CYCLE B – 2015
· It is again ordinary time. The Paschal cycle is over.
o The preparation – Lent and Holy Week
o The celebration of the Feasts of feast – the Resurrection of the Lord
o The coming of the Holy Spirit over the Church
· We have also celebrated two especial solemnities of the ordinary time
o The Most Holy Trinity, the mystery of God
o The Body and Blood of Christ, his constant presence in the midst of his creation.
· Today the Gospel will tell us about the kingdom comparing it to a growing seed.
FIRST READING – Ez 17:22-24
v The author of this book has an especial intention in giving his message: to give back hope to a people that is suffering due to diverse causes.
v He uses an apocalyptic literary style which has some peculiar characteristics:
o The hidden and mysterious things
o Angels and mysterious characters
o The use of symbols taken from the plants and the animals.
v The prophet wants to help the people to realize that what is happening is not only the result of the political and economic ambition of the powerful nations, or the fact that other small countries have summited themselves to the powerful ones, but there is another truth, each nation is responsible, through its just or unjust behavior, of what is happening to it.
v Therefore there is, in this book, a call to be responsible of our behavior as persons as well as peoples or nations.
Let us see the message from today’s reading
God speaks through the prophet
o In the verses preceding this reading we find a parable which takes us back to the time of the deportation to Babylon, then the people was transplanted in that powerful country
o Following the same allegory God says that he will take a sprout from the highest cedar
§ The sprout may refer to the remnant of Israel which God will take and bring back to its country
§ The high and powerful may mean the power of the Babylon Empire.
o God will plant this little sprout on the high mountain of Israel
o There, it will grow until it becomes a magnificent cedar which will give refuge to and protection to the birds.
o Thus when this will happen, this little sprout will become again a free nation.
o And continuing with this same allegory, the other trees, nations, will know that God humbles the powerful and proud, and raises up the humble.
o These verses give a promise of restauration which has been called the era of the Messiah.
This reading prepares us for the Gospel when the era of the Messiah is a reality and the Kingdom of God is compared to a vibrant tree which has a humble beginning.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Ps 92 2-3, 13-14, 15-16
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.
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.
§ This psalm of thanksgiving sings the love and the fidelity of our God.
§ Who is united to the Lord will continue having life and giving abundant fruit even in old age.
§ In our God, our Rock, there is no wrong, he is pure kindness and unconditional love.
SECOND READING 2 Cor 5:6-10
v Paul, even if he speaks in the plural, is speaking of himself.
v While we are in the body we are still far from the Lord.
v Because we walk in faith not in vision
v Paul would like to leave the body to go home with the Lord.
v He desires to please the Lord whether at home or away.
v Because we all have to appear before the tribunal of the Lord, and each one will receive the reward according to the good or the evil we have done while in our mortal body.
v Do I desire also to go home with the Lord? Is the Lord my dearest love?
GOSPEL Mk 4:26-34
Jesus speaks to the people about the Kingdom using examples taken from the agricultural world.
ü The first image is the seed
o Which the sower scatters on the land and it grows day and night without the sower knowing how.
o According to its natures it will give the roots, the stem, the leaves, the flowers, the fruit….
o And when the grain is ready it will be harvested.
ü A second image is the mustard seed which will become a large tree.
o It is the smallest seed, but when it grows it becomes a large tree full of foliage which gives protection to the birds.
ü Jesus speaks to the people only in parables, but he explains them to his disciples.
ü The word of God, the life of God, is given to us as a seed which stays with us and grows without us knowing it.
ü But all of us experience in our life that it keeps changing over time, until the moment comes for a visible change and then we begin a process of conversion, a coming back to the Lord or, a process of being more conscious of the presence of the Lord in our life.
ü The sower is Jesus who makes sure that his seed grows and gives fruit in us, so that we may become the image of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, wants to do of each one of us.
ü Let us, however, remember, even if the seed grows by itself, it also needs to be taken care of, and each one of us will receive the reward for what he or she has done during his or her life time on earth.
On the day me of the patronage of the most blessed virgin Mary, of the same year, when I was giving thanks for a benefit she had granted ( and I thought that this grace would excuse me from writing these notes) The Most Holy Mary commanded me to start writing them that very day and also told me to give my prelate some advice, for which I felt great repugnance. This advises are among the papers I handed over to him. María Antonia París, Foundress of the Clafretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 230.
I was in Puerto Principe making my fourth pastoral visit since my arrival in Cuba five years before After I had finished visiting the parishes of that town, I headed for Gibara, visiting Nuevitas in passing. From the seaport of Gibara I moved on to Holguin. For several days I had been feeling very fervent and full of longing to die for Jesus Christ. The love of God seemed to be the only thing I knew how or chanced to talk about, both to the members of my household and to outsiders who came to visit me. I had a great hunger and thirst to suffer trials and shed my blood for Jesus' and Mary's sake. Even in the pulpit I would remark that I desired to seal the truths I was preaching with the very blood of my veins.
On February 1 0, 1 8 5 6, after arriving in Holguin, I opened the pastoral visitation. Because it was the eve of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I preached to the people on this adorable mystery, making them see the great love the Blessed Virgin showed for us in offering up her most holy Son to suffer and die for us. I have no idea what I said or how I said it, but people remarked that I was happier than ever before. The sermon lasted an hour and a half. Antonio María Claret, Founder of the Claretian Missionary Sisters, Autobiography 573-574.
CLARET, Antonio María. Autobiography.
PARIS, María Antonia. Autobiography
Sagrada Biblia version official de la Conferencia de Obispos de España.