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Today’s Reading: Mark 4:21-32

21 And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a bushel, or under a bed, and not on a stand? 22 For there is nothing hidden, except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. 23 If any man has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 And he said to them, “Take heed what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.25 For to him who has will more be given; and from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”

26 And he 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 has 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.”

Today’s Commentary:

Mark 4:26-32 – An agricultural parable found only in Mark. Jesus compares the mystery of natural, organic growth to the expansion of the kingdom of God. The kingdom will visibly mature like grain, but the spiritual forces behind it will remain invisible. The parable of the Leaven in Mt 13:33 elucidates the same mystery.

— Morally (St. Gregory the Great, Hom. in Ezek. 2, 3): the maturing grain signifies our increase in virtue. First, the seeds of good intentions are sown; these gradually bring forth the blade of repentance and ultimately the mature ear of charitable works. When established in virtue, we are made ripe for God’s harvest.