Saturday, August 17, 2019

Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Memorial of Saint Francis de Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 319

1st Reading – 2 SM 7:4-17

That night the LORD spoke to Nathan and said:
“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD:
Should you build me a house to dwell in?
I have not dwelt in a house
from the day on which I led the children of Israel 319
out of Egypt to the present,
but I have been going about in a tent under cloth.
In all my wanderings everywhere among the children of Israel,
did I ever utter a word to any one of the judges
whom I charged to tend my people Israel, to ask:
Why have you not built me a house of cedar?’

“Now then, speak thus to my servant David,
‘The LORD of hosts has this to say:
It was I who took you from the pasture
and from the care of the flock
to be commander of my people Israel.
I have been with you wherever you went,
and I have destroyed all your enemies before you.
And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth.
I will fix a place for my people Israel;
I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place
without further disturbance.
Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old,
since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel.
I will give you rest from all your enemies.
The LORD also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you.
And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors,
I will raise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins,
and I will make his Kingdom firm.
It is he who shall build a house for my name.
And I will make his royal throne firm forever.
I will be a father to him,
and he shall be a son to me.
And if he does wrong,
I will correct him with the rod of men
and with human chastisements;
but I will not withdraw my favor from him
as I withdrew it from your predecessor Saul,
whom I removed from my presence.
Your house and your kingdom shall endure forever before me;
your throne shall stand firm forever.'”

Nathan reported all these words and this entire vision to David.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 89:4-5, 27-28, 29-30

R. (29a) For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“I have made a covenant with my chosen one;
I have sworn to David my servant:
I will make your dynasty stand forever
and establish your throne through all ages.”
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“He shall cry to me, ‘You are my father,
my God, the Rock that brings me victory!’
I myself make him firstborn,
Most High over the kings of the earth.”
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.
“Forever I will maintain my love for him;
my covenant with him stands firm.
I will establish his dynasty forever,
his throne as the days of the heavens.”
R. For ever I will maintain my love for my servant.

Alleluia

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The seed is the word of God, Christ is the sower;
all who come to him will live forever.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MK 4:1-20

On another occasion, Jesus began to teach by the sea.
A very large crowd gathered around him
so that he got into a boat on the sea and sat down.
And the whole crowd was beside the sea on land.
And he taught them at length in parables,
and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path,
and the birds came and ate it up.
Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil.
It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it
and it produced no grain.
And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit.
It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold.”
He added, “Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear.”

And when he was alone,
those present along with the Twelve
questioned him about the parables.
He answered them,
“The mystery of the Kingdom of God has been granted to you.
But to those outside everything comes in parables, so that
they may look and see but not perceive,
and hear and listen but not understand,
in order that they may not be converted and be forgiven.”

Jesus said to them, “Do you not understand this parable?
Then how will you understand any of the parables?
The sower sows the word.
These are the ones on the path where the word is sown.
As soon as they hear, Satan comes at once
and takes away the word sown in them.
And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who,
when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
But they have no roots; they last only for a time.
Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word,
they quickly fall away.
Those sown among thorns are another sort.
They are the people who hear the word,
but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches,
and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word,
and it bears no fruit.
But those sown on rich soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it
and bear fruit thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.

Catholic Daily Reflections

Sowing the Word of God…Despite the Results

“Hear this! A sower went out to sow.” Mark 4:3

This line begins the familiar Parable of the Sower. We are aware of the details of this parable in that the sower sows seed on the path, on rocky ground, among thorns and ultimately on good soil. The story reveals that we must strive to be like that “good soil” in that we must receive the Word of God into our souls, allowing it to be nurtured so that it may grow in abundance.

But this parable reveals something more that could easily be missed. It reveals the simple fact that the sower, in order to plant at least some seed in good and fertile soil, must act. He must act by going forth spreading seed in abundance. As he does this, he must not become disheartened if the majority of the seed he has sown fails to reach that good soil. The path, the rocky ground, and the thorny ground all are places where seed is sown but ultimately dies. Only one of the four places identified in this parable produces growth.

Jesus is the Divine Sower and His Word is the Seed. Therefore, we should realize that we are also called to act in His person by sowing the seed of His Word in our own lives. Just as He is willing to sow with the realization that not every seed will produce fruit, so also we must be ready and willing to accept this same fact.

The truth is that, very often, the labor we offer to God for the building up of His Kingdom produces little or no manifest fruit in the end. Hearts become hardened and the good we do, or the Word we share, does not grow.

One lesson we must take from this parable is that the spreading of the Gospel requires effort and commitment on our part. We must be willing to toil and labor for the Gospel despite whether or not people are willing to receive it. And we must not allow ourselves to become discouraged if the results are not what we had hoped for.

Reflect, today, upon the mission you have been given by Christ to spread His Word. Say “Yes” to that mission and then look for ways, each and every day, to sow His Word. Expect much of the effort you give to unfortunately bear little fruit in a manifest way. However, have deep hope and confidence in the fact that some of that seed will reach the soil that our Lord desires it to reach. Commit yourself to the sowing; God will worry about the rest.

Lord, I make myself available to You for the purpose of the Gospel. I promise to serve You, each and every day, and I commit to being a sower of Your divine Word. Help me not to become too focused on the results of the effort I give; rather, help me to entrust those results only to You and to Your divine providence. Jesus, I trust in You.

Our Audio Catholic Daily Readings are sourced from USCCB 

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About Laban Thua 1020 Articles
I am a Commissioned Liturgy Minister and also a Lector at Assumption of Mary Catholic Church. Am also a Commissioned Catholic Men Association (CMA), Member and a Lover of the Catholic Church and its teachings. My passion is disseminating the Catholic Daily Readings and Reflections, Bible Verse of the Day, Catholic Quote of the Day and Catholic Saint of the Day Information every day to all Catholic Faithfuls throughout the world.