Memory of Jesus crucified

Share On

Memorial of Modesta, a homeless woman refused medical assistance because she was dirty and was left to die in the Termini train station in Rome. Along with her, we remember all those without a home who have died

Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 4, 26-34

He also said, 'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters 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, at once he starts to reap because the harvest has come.'

He also said, 'What can we say that the kingdom is like? What parable can we find for it?

It is like a mustard seed which, at the time of its sowing, 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 by themselves.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

In this Gospel passage the evangelist Mark reports two parables spoken by Jesus. The first is that of the seed that grows by itself. It is the image of the Word of God that, once sown, has its own strength that does not depend on us. Indeed, whenever the Gospel is communicated and reaches the heart, sooner or later it bears its fruit. Moreover, already the prophet Isaiah said, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return there until they have watered the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty” (Is 55:10-11). Of course, the problem is communicating it. And this is the great responsibility that has been entrusted to the Church and to every believer. There is great thirst of the Gospel among the people, and often we are silent, perhaps because we think that there are things more robust and stronger than the Gospel. It is a very serious mistake because it imprisons the Word of God in the threads of our pettiness. If we accept the Gospel in our hearts, if we are generous in communicating, its strength is exploding; it does not follow our poor human measurements. The Word of God - Jesus makes it clear - is, in fact, like a seed, indeed as the smallest of all seeds. Jesus seems to insist on the weakness of the Gospel. And indeed, what is weak about the small book of the Gospel? It is just a word, it can be ignored, forgotten, dismissed, even mocked. Yet those words have incredible and very precious strength. We could say that it is the only treasure that the disciples have, and it is the only real force that can change the hearts of people. If the Gospel is welcomed and cared for carefully in the heart, it radiates an incredible power for change. Not only does it change the heart of its listeners, but it extends its reach far beyond oneself: “and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” The Gospel is the power of the disciples; it is the power of Christian communities, whether large or small. The only thing required by the disciples is to be overwhelmed by the energy of this small seed.