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Catholic Caucus: Daily Mass Readings 06-13-2021
Universalis/Jerusalem Bible ^ | 13 June 2021 | God

Posted on 06/12/2021 10:04:23 PM PDT by Cronos

June 13 , 2021

Catholic Church, Lancang River Valley, Tibet, China

Readings at Mass

Liturgical Colour: Green

First reading
Ezekiel 17:22-24 ©

I will plant a shoot on the high mountain of Israel

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.’

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 91(92):2-3,13-16 ©
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
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.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
The just will flourish like the palm tree
  and grow like a Lebanon cedar.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.
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.
It is good to give you thanks, O Lord.

Second reading
2 Corinthians 5:6-10 ©

We want to be exiled from the body and make our home with 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.

Gospel AcclamationJn15:15
Alleluia, alleluia!
I call you friends, says the Lord,
because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
Alleluia, alleluia!
The seed is the word of God, Christ the sower;
whoever finds this seed will remain for ever.

GospelMark 4:26-34 ©

The kingdom of God is a mustard seed growing into the biggest shrub of all

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘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 readings on this page are from the Jerusalem Bible, which is used at Mass in most of the English-speaking world. The New American Bible readings, which are used at Mass in the United States, are available in the Universalis apps, programs and downloads.
You can also view this page with the Gospel in Greek and English.

TOPICS: Catholic; General Discusssion; Prayer; Worship
KEYWORDS: catholic; mk4; ordinarytime; prayer
For your reading, reflection, faith-sharing, comments, questions, discussion.

1 posted on 06/12/2021 10:04:23 PM PDT by Cronos
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2 posted on 06/12/2021 10:04:30 PM PDT by Cronos ( )
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Alleluia Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Alleluia Ping List.

3 posted on 06/12/2021 10:04:45 PM PDT by Cronos ( )
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Catena Aurea by St. Thomas Aguinas


26. And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground;

27. And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knoweth not how.

28. For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.

29. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come.

PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) A parable occurred, a little above, about the three seeds which perished in various ways, and the one which was saved; in which last He also shews three differences, according to the proportion of faith and practice. Here, however, He puts forth a parable concerning those only who are saved. Wherefore it is said, And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground, &c.

PSEUDO-JEROME. The kingdom of God is the Church, which is ruled by God, and herself rules over men, and treads down the powers which are contrary to her, and all wickedness.

PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or else He calls by the name of kingdom of God, faith in Him, and in the economy of His Incarnation; which kingdom indeed is as if a man should throw seed. For He Himself being God and the Son of God, having without change been made man, has cast seed upon the earth, that is, He has enlightened the whole world by the word of divine knowledge.

PSEUDO-JEROME. For the seed is the word of life, the ground is the human heart, and the sleep of the man means the death of the Saviour. The seed springs up night and day, because after the sleep of Christ, the number of Christians, through calamity and prosperity, continued to flourish more and more in faith, and to wax greater in deed.

PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or Christ Himself is the man who rises, for He sat waiting with patience, that they who received seed should bear fruit. He rises, that is, by the word of His love, He makes us grow to the bringing forth fruit, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand, by which is meant the day, and on the left, by which is meant the night of persecution; for by these the seed springs up, and does not wither. (2 Cor. 6:7)

THEOPHYLACT. Or else Christ sleeps, that is, ascends into heaven, where, though He seem to sleep, yet He rises by night, when through temptations He raises us up to the knowledge of Himself; and in the day time, when on account of our prayers, He sets in order our salvation.

PSEUDO-JEROME. But when He says, He knoweth not how, He is speaking in a figure; that is, He does not make known to us, who amongst us will produce fruit unto the end.

PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or else He says, He knoweth not, that He may shew the free-will of those who receive the word, for He commits a work to our will, and does not work the whole Himself alone, lest the good should seem involuntary. For the earth brings forth fruits of its own accord, that is, she is brought to bear fruit without being compelled by a necessity contrary to her will. First the blade.

PSEUDO-JEROME. That is, fear. For the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Then the full corn in the ear; (Ps. 111:10. Rom. 13:8) that is, charity, for charity is the fulfilling of the Law.

PSEUDO-CHRYSOSTOM. (Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.) Or, first it produces the blade, in the law of nature, by degrees growing up to advancement; afterwards it brings forth the ears, which are to be collected into a bundle, and to be offered on an altar to the Lord, that is, in the law of Moses; afterwards the full-fruit, in the Gospel. Or because we must not only put forth leaves by obedience, but also learn prudence, and, like the stalk of corn, remain upright without minding the winds which blow us about. We must also take heed to our soul by a diligent recollection, that, like the ears, we may bear fruit, that is, shew forth the perfect operation of virtue.

THEOPHYLACT. For we put forth the blade, when we shew a principle of good; then the ear, when we can resist temptations; then comes the fruit, when a man works something perfect. It goes on: and when it has brought forth the fruit, immediately he sendeth the sickle, because the harvest is come.

PSEUDO-JEROME. The sickle is death or the judgment, which cuts down all things; the harvest is the end of the world.

GREGORY. (in Ezech. 2. Hom. 3) Or else; Man casts seed into the ground, when he places a good intention in his heart; and he sleeps, when he already rests in the hope which attends on a good work. But he rises night and day, because he advances amidst prosperity and adversity, though he knows it not, for he is as yet unable to measure his increase, and yet virtue, once conceived, goes on increasing. When therefore we conceive good desires, we put seed into the ground; when we begin to work rightly, we are the blade. When we increase to the perfection of good works, we arrive at the ear; when we are firmly fixed in the perfection of the same working, we already put forth the full corn in the ear.


30. And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? or with what comparison shall we compare it?

31. It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth:

32. But when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.

33. And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it.

34. But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples.

GLOSS. (non occ.) After having narrated the parable concerning the coming forth of the fruit from the seed of the Gospel, he here subjoins another parable, to shew the excellence of the doctrine of the Gospel before all other doctrines. Wherefore it is said, And he said, Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God?

THEOPHYLACT. Most brief indeed is the word of faith; Believe in God, and thou shalt be saved. But the preaching of it has been spread far and wide over the earth, and increased so, that the birds of heaven, that is, contemplative men, sublime in understanding and knowledge, dwell under it. For how many wise men among the Gentiles, quitting their wisdom, have found rest in the preaching of the Gospel! Its preaching then is greater than all.

CHRYSOSTOM. (non occ. leg. ap. Possin. Cyril.) And also because the wisdom spoken amongst the perfect expands, to an extent greater than all other sayings, that which was told to men in short discourses, for there is nothing greater than this truth.

THEOPHYLACT. Again, it put forth great boughs, for the Apostles were divided off as the boughs of a tree, some to Rome, some to India, some to other parts of the world.

PSEUDO-JEROME. Or else, that seed is very small in fear, but great when it has grown into charity, which is greater than all herbs; for God is love, (1 John 4:16) whilst all flesh is grass. (Isa. 40:6 But the boughs which it puts forth are those of mercy and compassion, since under its shade the poor of Christ, who are meant by the living creatures of the heavens, delight to dwell.

BEDE. (ubi sup.) Again, the man who sows is by many taken to mean the Saviour Himself, by others, man himself sowing in his own heart.

CHRYSOSTOM. (non occ. sed v. Cat. in Marc.) Then after this, Mark, who delights in brevity, to shew the nature of the parables, subjoins, And with many such parables spake he the word unto them as they could hear him.

THEOPHYLACT. For since the multitude was unlearned, he instructs them from objects of food and familiar names, and for this reason he adds, But without a parable spake he not unto them, that is, in order that they might be induced to approach and to ask Him. It goes on; And when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples, that is, all things about which they were ignorant and asked Him, not simply all, whether obscure or not.

PSEUDO-JEROME. For they were worthy to hear mysteries apart, in the most secret haunt of wisdom, for they were men, who, removed from the crowds of evil thoughts, remained in the solitude of virtue; and wisdom is received in a time of quiet.

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4 posted on 06/12/2021 10:05:54 PM PDT by Cronos ( )
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To: Cronos
 English: Douay-RheimsLatin: Vulgata ClementinaGreek NT: Byzantine/Majority Text (2000)
 Mark 4
26And he said: So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the earth, Et dicebat : Sic est regnum Dei, quemadmodum si homo jaciat sementem in terram,και ελεγεν ουτως εστιν η βασιλεια του θεου ως εαν ανθρωπος βαλη τον σπορον επι της γης
27And should sleep, and rise, night and day, and the seed should spring, and grow up whilst he knoweth not. et dormiat, et exsurgat nocte et die, et semen germinet, et increscat dum nescit ille.και καθευδη και εγειρηται νυκτα και ημεραν και ο σπορος βλαστανη και μηκυνηται ως ουκ οιδεν αυτος
28For the earth of itself bringeth forth fruit, first the blade, then the ear, afterwards the full corn in the ear. Ultro enim terra fructificat, primum herbam, deinde spicam, deinde plenum frumentum in spica.αυτοματη γαρ η γη καρποφορει πρωτον χορτον ειτα σταχυν ειτα πληρη σιτον εν τω σταχυι
29And when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. Et cum producerit fructus, statim mittit falcem, quoniam adsit messis.οταν δε παραδω ο καρπος ευθεως αποστελλει το δρεπανον οτι παρεστηκεν ο θερισμος
30And he said: To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? or to what parable shall we compare it? Et dicebat : Cui assimilabimus regnum Dei ? aut cui parabolæ comparabimus illud ?και ελεγεν τινι ομοιωσωμεν την βασιλειαν του θεου η εν ποια παραβολη παραβαλωμεν αυτην
31It is as a grain of mustard seed: which when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that are in the earth: Sicut granum sinapis, quod cum seminatum fuerit in terra, minus est omnibus seminibus, quæ sunt in terra :ως κοκκον σιναπεως ος οταν σπαρη επι της γης μικροτερος παντων των σπερματων εστιν των επι της γης
32And when it is sown, it groweth up, and becometh greater than all herbs, and shooteth out great branches, so that the birds of the air may dwell under the shadow thereof. et cum seminatum fuerit, ascendit, et fit majus omnibus oleribus, et facit ramos magnos, ita ut possint sub umbra ejus aves cæli habitare.και οταν σπαρη αναβαινει και γινεται παντων των λαχανων μειζων και ποιει κλαδους μεγαλους ωστε δυνασθαι υπο την σκιαν αυτου τα πετεινα του ουρανου κατασκηνουν
33And with many such parables, he spoke to them the word, according as they were able to hear. Et talibus multis parabolis loquebatur eis verbum, prout poterant audire :και τοιαυταις παραβολαις πολλαις ελαλει αυτοις τον λογον καθως εδυναντο ακουειν
34And without parable he did not speak unto them; but apart, he explained all things to his disciples. sine parabola autem non loquebatur eis : seorsum autem discipulis suis disserebat omnia.χωρις δε παραβολης ουκ ελαλει αυτοις κατ ιδιαν δε τοις μαθηταις αυτου επελυεν παντα

5 posted on 06/13/2021 4:28:59 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Communion of Saints

Greek icon

6 posted on 06/13/2021 4:29:40 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

St. Anthony of Padua is one of the most famous disciples of St. Francis of Assisi. He was a famous preacher and worker of miracles in his own day, and throughout the eight centuries since his death he has so generously come to the assistance of the faithful who invoke him, that he is known throughout the world.

St. Anthony's Youth & Conversion

St. Anthony was born in the year 1195 A. D. at Lisbon (Portugal) where his father was a captain in the royal army. Already at the age of fifteen years, he had entered the Congregation of Canons Regular of St. Augustine and devoted himself with great earnestness both to study and to the practice of piety in the Monastery at Coimbra (Portugal).

About that time some of the first members of the Order of Friars Minor, which St. Francis has founded in 1206 A. D. came to Coimbra. They begged from the Canons Regular a small and very poor place, from which by their evangelical poverty and simplicity they edified everyone in the region. Then in 1219 A. D. some of these friars, moved by divine inspiration, went as missionaries to preach the Gospel of Christ to the inhabitants of Morocco. There they were brutally martyred for the Faith. Some Christian merchants succeeded in recovering their remains; and so brought their relics in triumph back to Coimbra.

The relics of St. Bernard and companions, the first martyrs of the Franciscan Order, seized St. Anthony with an intense desire to suffer martyrdom in a like manner. So moved by their heroic example he repeatedly begged and petitioned his superiors to be given leave to join the Franciscan Order. In the quiet little Franciscan convent at Coimbra he received a friendly reception, and in the same year his earnest wish to be sent to the missions in Africa was fulfilled.

St. Anthony's Arrival in Italy

But God had decreed otherwise. And so, St. Anthony scarcely set foot on African soil when he was seized with a grievous illness. Even after recovering from it, he was so weak that, resigning himself to the will of God, he boarded a boat back to Portugal. Unexpectedly a storm came upon them and drove the ship to the east where it found refuge on coast of Sicily. St. Anthony was greeted and given shelter by the Franciscans of that island, and thus came to be sent to Assisi, where the general chapter of the Order was held in May, 1221 A. D..

Since he still looked weak and sickly, and gave no evidence of his scholarship, no one paid any attention to the stranger until Father Gratian, the Provincial of friars living in the region of Romagna (Italy), had compassion on him and sent him to the quiet little convent near Forli (also in Italy). There St. Anthony remained nine months as chaplain to the hermits, occupied in the lowliest duties of the kitchen and convent, and to his heart's content he practiced interior as well as exterior mortification.

St. Anthony, Preacher and Teacher

But the hidden jewel was soon to appear in all its brilliance. For the occasion of a ceremony of ordination some of the hermits along with St. Anthony were sent to the town of Forli. Before the ceremony was to begin, however, it was announced that the priest who was to give the sermon had fallen sick. The local superior, to avert the embarrassment of the moment, quickly asked the friars in attendance to volunteer. Each excused himself, saying that he was not prepared, until finally, St. Anthony was asked to give it. When he too, excused himself in a most humble manner, his superior ordered him by virtue of the vow of obedience to give the sermon. St. Anthony began to speak in a very reserved manner; but soon holy animation seized him, and he spoke with such eloquence, learning and unction that everybody was fairly amazed.

When St. Francis was informed of the event, he gave St. Anthony the mission to preach throughout Italy. At the request of the brethren, St. Anthony was later commissioned also to teach theology, "but in such a manner," St. Francis distinctly wrote, " that the spirit of prayer be not extinguished either in yourself or in the other brethren." St. Anthony himself placed greater value in the salvation of souls than on learning. For that reason he never ceased to exercise his office as preacher despite his work of teaching.

The number of those who came to hear him was sometimes so great that no church was large enough to accommodate and so he had to preach in the open air. Frequently St. Anthony wrought veritable miracles of conversion. Deadly enemies were reconciled. Thieves and usurers made restitution. Calumniators and detractors recanted and apologized. He was so energetic in defending the truths of the Catholic Faith that many heretics returned to the Church. This occasioned the epitaph given him by Pope Gregory IX "the ark of the covenant."

In all his labors he never forgot the admonition of his spiritual father, St. Francis, that the spirit of prayer must not be extinguished. If he spent the day in teaching and heard the confession of sinners till late in the evening, then many hours of the night were spent in intimate union with God.

Once a man, at whose home St. Anthony was spending the night, came upon the saint and found him holding in his arms the Child Jesus, unspeakably beautiful and surrounded with heavenly light. For this reason St. Anthony is often depicted holding the Child Jesus.

St. Anthony's Death

In 1227 A. D., St. Anthony was elected Minister Provincial of the friars living in northern Italy. Thus he resumed the work of preaching. Due to his taxing labors and his austere penance, he soon felt his strength so spent that he prepared himself for death. After receiving the last sacraments he kept looking upward with a smile on his countenance. When he was asked what he saw there, he answered: "I see my Lord." He breathed forth his soul on June 13, 1231 A. D., being only thirty six year old. Soon the children in the streets of the city of Padua were crying: "The saint is dead, Anthony is dead."

Pope Gregory IX enrolled him among the saints in the very next year. At Padua, a magnificent basilica was built in his honor, his holy relics were entombed there in 1263 A. D. From the time of his death up to the present day, countless miracles have occurred through St. Anthony's intercession, so that he is known as the Wonder-Worker. In 1946 A. D. St. Anthony was declared a Doctor of the Church.

This brief life of St. Anthony of Padua appeared in the August/September edition of the Herald of the Immaculate , and forms part of the Home Page of St. Francis of Assisi.

The Franciscan Friars of the Immaculate are a Roman Catholic Religious Institute of solemn vows headquartered at Benevento, Italy.

For more information contact:
Marian Friary of Our Lady Queen of the Seraphic Order
600 Pleasant Street
New Bedford, Massachusetts
Tel: (508) 996-8274
FAX: (508) 996-8296

Email at: or visit their web site at:
7 posted on 06/13/2021 4:33:02 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

St. Anthony of Padua

Maso di Banco

first half of the 14th century

8 posted on 06/13/2021 4:36:08 AM PDT by annalex (fear them not)
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To: annalex

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam (To the Greater Glory of God)

From: Ezekiel 17:22-24

The allegory come true (Continued)
[22] 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; [23] 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. [24] 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."


17:22-24. Chapters 15-17 contain a number of allegories. The special feature of the cedar tree allegory describing the eventual restoration is the way it puts the stress on God's action by explicitly repeating the first person singular: "I myself", "I the Lord will bring low", "I the Lord have spoken". Some commentators think that these verses might have been inserted in the text later, but the style and content of the oracle are perfectly in line with Ezekiel's thinking.

"In the shade of its branches birds of every sort will rest" (v. 23): the same words are used in the account of the flood about all sorts of birds entering Noah's ark. It points therefore to the eschatological nature of the oracle: after the exile, just as after the flood, everything will be completely new, although it will derive from something that already existed. Also, the reference to "birds of every sort" points to the catholic nature of the new Israel. It is no surprise therefore that our Lord should use similar imagery to describe the Kingdom of God: it is like a grain of mustard seed that grows and "becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches" (Mt 13:32).

"I the Lord bring low the high tree" (v. 24): here again we see the Lord as the protagonist in the history of the chosen people. He is the author of life, which makes what is dry flourish, and of death, which withers the green tree. He has set his might against those who, in their arrogance, do not accept him (cf. 31:10-14). The New Testament will have much to say about the value of humility; for example: "whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted" (Mt 23:12).

9 posted on 06/13/2021 5:38:15 AM PDT by fidelis (Defeatism and despair are like poison to men's souls. If you can't be positive, at least be quiet.)
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To: fidelis
From: 2 Corinthians 5:6-10

He is sustained by hope of heaven
[6] So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, [7] for we walk by faith, not by sight. [8] We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. [9] So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. [10] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.


6. St Alphonsus says apropos of this verse: "This is not our fatherland; we are here, as it were, passing through, like pilgrims [. . .]. Our fatherland is heaven, which we have to merit by God's grace and our own good actions. Our home is not the one we live in at present, which serves only as a temporary dwelling; our home is eternity" (Shorter Sermons, XVI).

However, as St Paul himself shows elsewhere (cf. Acts 16:16-40; 22:22-29; Rom 13:1-7; 2 Thess 3:6:13), this "being away" from the Lord does not mean that a Christian should not concern himself with the building up of the earthly city. On the contrary, he should do everything he can to build a world which is more and more like what God wants it to be. Vatican II, for example, exhorts "Christians, as citizens of both cities, to perform their duties faithfully in the spirit of the Gospel. It is a mistake to think that, because we have here no lasting city, but seek the city which is to come (cf. Heb 13:14), we are entitled to shirk our responsibilities; this is to forget that, by our faith, we are bound all the more to fulfil these responsibilities according to the vocation of each one (cf. 2 Thess 3:6-13; Eph 4:28) [.. .]. The Christian who shirks his temporal duties shirks his duties towards his neighbour, neglects God himself and endangers his eternal salvation. Let Christians follow the example of Christ who worked as a craftsman; let them be proud of the opportunity to carry out their earthly activity in such a way as to integrate human, domestic, professional, scientific and technical enterprises with religious values, under whose supreme direction all things are ordered to the glory of God" (Gaudium et spes, 43).

7. St Paul here speaks of faith as light which shows us the way as we progress towards eternal life. However, when we reach our home in heaven we will no longer need the light of faith, because God himself and Christ will be our light (cf. Rev 21:23).

8-10. Here we can see the Apostle's firm conviction that he will meet the Lord the moment he dies. In other passages of Sacred Scripture the same truth is stated (cf. Lk 16:22-23; 23:43), and the Magisterium of the Church has defined that souls will receive their eternal reward or punishment immediately after death -- or after they pass through purgatory, if they have to do so (cf. Benedict XII, Benedictus Deus, Dz-Sch, 1000).

This sentence of reward or punishment -- given at the particular judgment and ratified at the general judgment at the end of time -- is based on the person's merits gained during his life on earth, for once he has died he can no longer merit. In view of this judgment St Paul exhorts us to do everything we can in this life to please the Lord. "Does your soul not burn with the desire to make your Father-God happy when he has to judge you?" (St J. Escrivá, The Way, 746).

10 posted on 06/13/2021 5:38:52 AM PDT by fidelis (Defeatism and despair are like poison to men's souls. If you can't be positive, at least be quiet.)
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To: fidelis
From: Mark 4:26-34

Parables of the Seed and of the Mustard Seed
[26] And He (Jesus) said, "The Kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, [27] and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how. [28] The earth produces of itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. [29] But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come."

[30] And He said, "With what can we compare the Kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? [31] It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; [32] 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."

The End of the Parables Discourse
[33] With many such parables He spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it; [34] He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to His own disciples He explained everything.


26-29. Farmers spare no effort to prepare the ground for the sowing; but once the grain is sown there is nothing more they can do until the harvest; the grain develops by itself. Our Lord uses this comparison to describe the inner strength that causes the Kingdom of God on earth to grow up to the day of harvest (cf. Joel 3:13 and Revelation 14:15), that is, the day of the Last Judgment.

Jesus is telling His disciples about the Church: the preaching of the Gospel, the generously sown seed, will unfailingly yield its fruit, independently of who sows or who reaps: it is God who gives the growth (cf. 1 Corinthians 3:5-9). It will all happen "he knows not how", without men being fully aware of it.

The Kingdom of God also refers to the action of grace in each soul: God silently works a transformation in us, whether we sleep or watch, causing resolutions to take shape in our soul--resolutions to be faithful, to surrender ourselves, to respond to grace--until we reach "mature manhood" (cf. Ephesians 4:13). Even though it is necessary for man to make this effort, the real initiative lies with God, "because it is the Holy Spirit who, with His inspirations, gives a supernatural tone to our thoughts, desires and actions. It is He who leads us to receive Christ's teaching and to assimilate it in a profound way. It is He who gives us the light by which we perceive our personal calling and the strength to carry out all that God expects of us. If we are docile to the Holy Spirit, the image of Christ will be found more and more fully in us, and we will be brought closer every day to God the Father. `For whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God' (Romans 8:14)" (St J. Escriva, Christ Is Passing By, 135).

30-32. The main meaning of this parable has to do with the contrast between the great and the small. The seed of the Kingdom of God on earth is something very tiny to begin with (Luke 12:32; Acts 1:15); but it will grow to be a big tree. Thus we see how the small initial group of disciples grows in the early years of the Church (cf Acts 2:47; 6:7; 12:24), and spreads down the centuries and becomes a great multitude "which no man could number" (Revelation 7:9). This mysterious growth which our Lord refers to also occurs in each soul: "the Kingdom of God is in the midst of you" (Luke 17:21); we can see a prediction of this in the words of Psalm 92:12: "The righteous grow like a cedar in Lebanon." To allow the mercy of God to exalt us, to make us grow, we must make ourselves small, humble (Ezekiel 17:22-24; Luke 18:9-14).

Daily Word for Reflection—Navarre Bible Commentary

11 posted on 06/13/2021 5:39:14 AM PDT by fidelis (Defeatism and despair are like poison to men's souls. If you can't be positive, at least be quiet.)
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