FIRST READING: 2 Samuel 7: 4 - 17
4 But that same night the word of the LORD came to Nathan,
5 "Go and tell my servant David, `Thus says the LORD: Would you build me a house to dwell in?
6 I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the people of Israel from Egypt to this day, but I have been moving about in a tent for my dwelling.
7 In all places where I have moved with all the people of Israel, did I speak a word with any of the judges of Israel, whom I commanded to shepherd my people Israel, saying, "Why have you not built me a house of cedar?"'
8 Now therefore thus you shall say to my servant David, `Thus says the LORD of hosts, I took you from the pasture, from following the sheep, that you should be prince over my people Israel;
9 and I have been with you wherever you went, and have cut off all your enemies from before you; and I will make for you a great name, like the name of the great ones of the earth.
10 And I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in their own place, and be disturbed no more; and violent men shall afflict them no more, as formerly,
11 from the time that I appointed judges over my people Israel; and I will give you rest from all your enemies. Moreover the LORD declares to you that the LORD will make you a house.
12 When your days are fulfilled and you lie down with your fathers, I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come forth from your body, and I will establish his kingdom.
13 He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.
14 I will be his father, and he shall be my son. When he commits iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men;
15 but I will not take my steadfast love from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away from before you.
16 And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure for ever before me; your throne shall be established for ever.'"
17 In accordance with all these words, and in accordance with all this vision, Nathan spoke to David.PSALM: Psalms 89: 4 – 5, 27 - 30
4 `I will establish your descendants for ever, and build your throne for all generations.'" [Selah]
5 Let the heavens praise thy wonders, O LORD, thy faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones!
27 And I will make him the first-born, the highest of the kings of the earth.
28 My steadfast love I will keep for him for ever, and my covenant will stand firm for him.
29 I will establish his line for ever and his throne as the days of the heavens.
30 If his children forsake my law and do not walk according to my ordinances,GOSPEL: Mark 4: 1 - 20
1 On another occasion he 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.
2 And he taught them at length in parables, and in the course of his instruction he said to them,
3 "Hear this! A sower went out to sow.
4 And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and ate it up.
5 Other seed fell on rocky ground where it had little soil. It sprang up at once because the soil was not deep.
6 And when the sun rose, it was scorched and it withered for lack of roots.
7 Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it and it produced no grain.
8 And some seed fell on rich soil and produced fruit. It came up and grew and yielded thirty, sixty, and a hundredfold."
9 He added, "Whoever has ears to hear ought to hear."
10 And when he was alone, those present along with the Twelve questioned him about the parables.
11 He answered them, "The mystery of the kingdom of God has been granted to you. But to those outside everything comes in parables,
12 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.'"
13 Jesus said to them, "Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand any of the parables?
14 The sower sows the word.
15 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.
16 And these are the ones sown on rocky ground who, when they hear the word, receive it at once with joy.
17 But they have no root; they last only for a time. Then when tribulation or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.
18 Those sown among thorns are another sort. They are the people who hear the word,
19 but worldly anxiety, the lure of riches, and the craving for other things intrude and choke the word, and it bears no fruit.
20 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."