11th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
Note: Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I had been compiled for you after the Mass Readings below. Happy Reading!
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 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.
The just will flourish like the palm tree and grow like a Lebanon cedar.
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.
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.
I call you friends, says the Lord, because I have made known to you
everything I have learnt from my Father.
The seed is the word of God, Christ the sower;
whoever finds this seed will remain for ever.
Gospel: Mark 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.
Acknowledgment: We thank the Publisher for allowing us to publish the Mass Readings to be used as reference for Homilies & Angelus / Regina Caeli of Pope Saint John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI & Pope Francis I as a source of God’s encouragements to all of us around the World.
Homilies, Angelus / Regina Caeli
The greatest thing is love. "We know" - writes Saint John - "that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love abides in death" (1 John 3:14). And, therefore, he who loves shares in life, in that life which is from God. "By this we know love" - continues Saint John - "that he [Christ] laid down his life for us" (1 John 3:16). Thus we too should lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters (cf. 1 John 3:16). Christ said that in this way, by giving our lives for the brethren, we show love. And this is the greatest love (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:13)…
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave" (Matthew 20:25-26). These words of Christ deeply penetrated the mind of the young sovereign of the noble house of the Angevins. The most profound characteristic of Saint Hedwig’s short life and, at the same time the measure of her greatness, was her spirit of service. Her social position, her talents, her whole private life she offered completely to the service of Christ and, when it was her time to reign, she also devoted her life to the service of the people entrusted to her.
The spirit of service inspired her social commitment. She zealously devoted herself to the political life of her time. And she, the daughter of the King of Hungary, successfully combined faithfulness to Christian principles with the defence of the common weal of Poland. Undertaking great works in the national and international sphere, she desired nothing for herself. Through her generosity she enriched her second homeland with every material and spiritual good. An expert in the art of diplomacy, she laid the foundations for Poland's greatness in the 15th century. She inspired religious and cultural cooperation between the nations and her sensitivity to social wrongs was often praised by her subjects.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 8 June 1997)
Saint Hedwig’s record from Wikipedia
Young people, especially the young people of Krakow, have always had a special veneration and love for Queen Hedwig. Generations and generations of scholars, students and school-children would come to her tomb. It became a custom that at her tomb in Wawel they would lay the badges of their schools and other emblems. As if to say that they wanted to preserve a profound link between her wisdom and holiness and their own aspirations and future. Young people are attracted by wisdom. They are fascinated by the deep things of the spirit. Ever since the foundation of the University of Krakow, young people have been an inseparable part of the image of this city. It can be said that Krakow owes to the wise decision of Saint Hedwig the fact that it has always remained a city of youth.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 8 June 1997)
The analogy with the priestly vocation is self-evident. It is like God’s seed, scattered in human souls, which grows with its own force. But the seed, in order to grow, must be cared for. It is man who must sow; and it is man again who must watch over the seed’s growth. It is necessary to prevent harmful forces, evil persons or natural disasters from destroying the tender shoots that are growing. And when they have reached maturity, man must put his hand to the sickle, as Christ says, because the field is ready for the harvest (cf. Mark 4:29)…
St Paul too, in the passage from the Letter to the Corinthians just proclaimed, offers us the opportunity to deepen our understanding of the question of priestly formation. The Apostle writes: "We walk by faith, not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). And he adds: "We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord" (2 Corinthians 5:8). What else is seminary formation, the instruction and education received there, if not an introduction to the theological virtues which are the foundation of Christian life and, in particular, of priestly life? The greatest of these is love (cf. 1 Corinthians 13:13). Might not the Apostle be referring to love when he says: "So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him" (2 Corinthians 5:9)?
Pope Saint John Paul II (Homily, 15 June 1997)
It was deeply moving for me to return as a pilgrim to the feet of Our Lady of Jasna Góra. To her I entrusted the Church’s journey towards the Holy Door of the Jubilee of the Year 2000, and particularly to the horizons which are unfolding for her mission in the third millennium. To her I entrusted the Polish nation and all the nations of Europe, called to build their integration on solid spiritual, cultural and ethical foundations, beginning with their common Christian roots, whose shining example is the figure and work of St Adalbert, commemorated on the 1000th anniversary of his martyrdom. To Mary I entrusted the commitment of Christians to advancing towards full unity, in accordance with Christ’s will and the demands of the new evangelization; I also called on her for reconciliation and peace for all peoples.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 15 June 1997)
Last Friday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, that Heart which began to beat 2,000 years ago in the womb of Mary Most Holy and brought the fire of God's love into the world.
The Heart of Jesus contains a message for everyone; it also speaks to today's world. In a society where technology and informatics are developing at a growing rate, where people are caught up in thousands of often conflicting interests, they risk losing their centre, the centre of their very selves. By showing us his Heart, Jesus reminds us first of all that it is there, deep within himself, that each person's destiny is decided, his death or life in the definitive sense. He himself gives us life in abundance, which allows our hearts, sometimes hardened by indifference and selfishness, to be opened to a higher form of life.
The Heart of the crucified and risen Christ is the inexhaustible source of grace from which every individual can always draw love, truth and mercy, especially during this special year of the Great Jubilee.
Pope Saint John Paul II (Angelus, 2 July 2000)
No record for Year 2003
In short, the family is a living organism in which there is a reciprocal exchange of gifts. The important thing is that the Word of God, which keeps the flame of faith alive, never be lacking.
In a most significant gesture, during the rite of Baptism the father or godfather lights a candle from the great Paschal Candle, the symbol of the Risen Christ, and turning to the relatives of the child, the celebrant says: [this child] of yours has been enlightened by Christ. [He/she is] to walk always as [a child] of the light". If it is to be authentic, this gesture, in which there is all the meaning of the transmission of faith in the family, must be preceded and accompanied by the commitment of the parents to deepen their knowledge of their own faith, reviving its flame through prayer and the assiduous reception of the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist.
Let us pray to the Virgin Mary for the success of the upcoming great Meeting in Valencia and for all the families in the world so that they may be genuine communities of love and life, in which the flame of the faith is passed on from generation to generation.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 2 July 2006)
No record for Year 2009
In the first parable the focus is on the dynamism of the sowing: the seed that was scattered on the land sprouts and grows by itself, whether the peasant is awake or asleep. The man sows with the trust that his work will not be fruitless. What supports the farmer in his daily efforts is specifically trust in the power of the seed and in the goodness of the soil. This parable recalls the mysteries of the creation and of redemption, of God’s fertile work in history. It is he who is the Lord of the Kingdom, man is his humble collaborator who contemplates and rejoices in the divine creative action and patiently awaits its fruits. The final harvest makes us think of God’s conclusive intervention at the end of time, when he will fully establish his Kingdom. The present is the time of sowing, and the growth of the seed is assured by the Lord. Every Christian therefore knows well that he must do all he can, but that the final result depends on God: this awareness sustains him in his daily efforts, especially in difficult situations. St Ignatius of Loyola wrote in this regard: “Act as though everything depended on you, but in the knowledge that really everything depends on God” (cf. Pedro de Ribadeneira, Vita di S. Ignazio di Loyola, Milan, 1998).
The second parable also uses the image of the seed. Here, however, it is a specific seed, the mustard seed, considered the smallest of all seeds. Yet even though it is so tiny, it is full of life; it breaks open to give life to a sprout that can break through the ground, coming out into the sunlight and growing until it becomes “the greatest of all shrubs” (Mark 4:32): the seed’s weakness is its strength, its breaking open is its power. Thus the Kingdom of God is like this: a humanly small reality, made up of those who are poor in heart, of those who do not rely on their own power but on that of the love of God, on those who are not important in the world’s eyes; and yet it is through them that Christ’s power bursts in and transforms what is seemingly insignificant.
The image of the seed is especially dear to Jesus, because it clearly expresses the mystery of the Kingdom of God. In today’s two parables it represents “growth” and “contrast”: the growth that occurs thanks to an innate dynamism within the seed itself and the contrast that exists between the minuscule size of the seed and the greatness of what it produces.
The message is clear: even though the Kingdom of God demands our collaboration, it is first and foremost a gift of the Lord, a grace that precedes man and his works. If our own small strength, apparently powerless in the face of the world’s problems, is inserted in that of God it fears no obstacles because the Lord’s victory is guaranteed. It is the miracle of the love of God who causes every seed of good that is scattered on the ground to germinate. And the experience of this miracle of love makes us optimists, in spite of the difficulty, suffering and evil that we encounter. The seed sprouts and grows because God’s love makes it grow. May the Virgin Mary, who, like “good soil”, accepted the seed of the divine Word, strengthen within us this faith and this hope.
Pope Benedict XVI (Angelus, 17 June 2012)
In the first parable, attention is placed on the fact that the seed scattered on the ground (Mark 4: 26) takes root and develops on its own, regardless of whether the farmer sleeps or keeps watch. He is confident in the inner power of the seed itself and in the fertility of the soil. In the language of the Gospel, the seed is the symbol of the Word of God, whose fruitfulness is recalled in this parable. As the humble seed grows in the earth, so too does the Word by the power of God work in the hearts of those who listen to it. God has entrusted his Word to our earth, that is to each one of us with our concrete humanity. We can be confident because the Word of God is a creative word, destined to become the “full grain in the ear” (v. 28). This Word, if accepted, certainly bears fruit, for God Himself makes it sprout and grow in ways that we cannot always verify or understand. (cf. v. 27). All this tells us that it is always God, it is always God who makes his Kingdom grow. That is why we fervently pray “thy Kingdom come”. It is He who makes it grow. Man is his humble collaborator, who contemplates and rejoices in divine creative action and waits patiently for its fruits.
The Word of God makes things grow, it gives life. And here, I would like to remind you once again, of the importance of having the Gospel, the Bible, close at hand. A small Gospel in your purse, in your pocket and to nourish yourselves every day with this living Word of God. Read a passage from the Gospel every day, a passage from the Bible. Please don’t ever forget this. Because this is the power that makes the life of the Kingdom of God sprout within us.
The second parable uses the image of the mustard seed. Despite being the smallest of all the seeds, it is full of life and grows until it becomes “the greatest of all shrubs” (Mark 4:32). And thus is the Kingdom of God: a humanly small and seemingly irrelevant reality. To become a part of it, one must be poor of heart; not trusting in their own abilities, but in the power of the love of God; not acting to be important in the eyes of the world, but precious in the eyes of God, who prefers the simple and the humble. When we live like this, the strength of Christ bursts through us and transforms what is small and modest into a reality that leavens the entire mass of the world and of history.
An important lesson comes to us from these two parables: God’s Kingdom requires our cooperation, but it is above all the initiative and gift of the Lord. Our weak effort, seemingly small before the complexity of the problems of the world, when integrated with God’s effort, fears no difficulty. The victory of the Lord is certain: his love will make every seed of goodness present on the ground sprout and grow. This opens us up to trust and hope, despite the tragedies, the injustices, the sufferings that we encounter. The seed of goodness and peace sprouts and develops, because the merciful love of God makes it ripen.
Pope Francis I (Angelus, 14 June 2015)
Note: This webpage has many hyperlinks to the Vatican Webpage. The above extracts were compiled for your easy reading.
This Publication is aimed to encourage all of Goodwill around the World. It is not for business or profit purposes but it is our way to thank our Creator for His continuous blessings!
Compiled on 17 June 2018
Updated on 1 July 2018