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Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time – June 16, 2024 – Liturgical Calendar

MASS LECTURES

June 16, 2024 (lectures on USCCB website)

COLLECT PRAYER

Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time: O God, strength of those who hope in Thee, graciously hearken to our supplications, and since without Thee mortal weakness can do nothing, grant us always the help of Thy grace, that by obeying Thy commands we may please Thee with our determination and our commitment. deeds. Through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, forever and ever.

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“To what shall we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable can we use of it? It is like a mustard seed which, when sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth. when it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of plants and puts forth great branches, so that the birds of the air may dwell in its shade” (Mk 4:30-32).


Commentary on the Sunday Mass readings for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B:

The First reading is taken over Eze 17:22-24. In this reading, the prophet Ezekiel spoke of the better days that would come for the chosen people, when Yahweh would take back His people and dwell among them forever. Today’s excerpt is a Messianic prophecy in which God says he will raise up a descendant—a branch of the exalted cedar of David, who will yet be the glory of Israel.

The Second reading is of 2 Corinthians 5:6-10. St. Paul tells his Corinthians that his constant desire and motive in life is to please God. In this he wants them to imitate him. While he is on earth this is his purpose and when he goes to God in heaven this will be his purpose and his joy.

The Gospel is of St. Mark 4:26-34. One of the evidences of the divine origin of the Church of Christ is its growth from very humble beginnings. Christ could have come to earth in the prime of his manhood, without the cooperation of any human lineage. He could have preached his gospel to the whole world himself, without any help from men. By extraordinary miracles he had been able to bring the world to faith. If he had wanted the help of men, he could have chosen the excellent philosophers and orators of Greece and Rome. Instead, he chose to be born as a baby, the son of a poor mother and a foster carpenter father. He was born in a stable; was forced into pagan Egypt before he was a year old; he lived in poverty in Nazareth for about thirty years, earning his meager daily bread by the sweat of his brow. Then for three years he trudged along the highways and byways of Palestine, often tired, hungry, and with sore feet, preaching the good news of salvation. As assistants he chose fishermen, shepherds and tax collectors, twelve of the most ordinary commoners of his time.

When the time came for him to lay down his life for the world, as appointed by his Father, he allowed his enemies to capture him and condemn him to death on a cross. This was certainly a humble beginning for a kingdom that would encompass the earth and all ages. The mustard seed was large in comparison. Yet this was God’s plan and therefore it succeeded as he said it would. The story of his humble descent among us, of his equality with us in all things except sin, and of his self-immolation for us, touched the hearts of men wherever it was told, and the grace of God rest.

It was not the eloquence of the apostles, nor their gift of persuasion, nor their fame for learning, that led the pagan world to renounce its idols and vices. No, nothing other than the moving grace of the Holy Spirit and the objective truth of the Gospel story can explain the conversion of the Roman Empire.

Therefore, the spread of the Church is a proof of her divine origin; she comes from God and God is with her. Knowing this, how thankful we should be to him who has made us members of his kingdom on earth, with the assurance of a place in his eternal kingdom in heaven, if we remain his loyal subjects here below. How good God has been to us! What humiliations did he go to to open heaven to us! When we think of Bethlehem, Nazareth, and Calvary, can we dare to complain because He sends us a few crosses to help us atone for our own past sins? When we wipe the sweat of honest labor from our brow, we will remember the carpenter of Nazareth. When we feel the pain of poverty, hunger and debt, we will think of Bethlehem and its stable and of the poor house of Nazareth. If or when the injustice of others should drive us from our home and country, as is the fate of so many today, we will remember the exile in Egypt. If we are spared this humiliation, we will do everything in our power to help “displaced people” wherever they may be.

The little mustard seed has grown into a tree, but there is still much more to be gathered under the shelter of its branches. Christ asks all his followers to help him bring all people into the safety of his kingdom on earth so that they will be enabled to enjoy eternal happiness in his heavenly kingdom. When we realize all that God and His divine Son have done for us, would we be so mean and ungrateful as to refuse to lend a helping hand? God forbid! God has already put us on the right path to heaven; we will help him bring in the laggards, the lazy people, the people who “don’t care” on that same path, with all the means at our disposal.

-Taken from The Sunday readings by Fr. Kevin O’Sullivan, OFM