FIRST READING: Ezekiel 17: 22 - 24
22 Thus says the Lord GOD: "I myself will take a sprig from the lofty top of the cedar, and will set it out; I will break off from the topmost of its young twigs a tender one, and I myself will plant it upon a high and lofty mountain;
23 on the mountain height of Israel will I plant it, that it may bring forth boughs and bear fruit, and become a noble cedar; and under it will dwell all kinds of beasts; in the shade of its branches birds of every sort will nest.
24 And all the trees of the field shall know that I the LORD bring low the high tree, and make high the low tree, dry up the green tree, and make the dry tree flourish. I the LORD have spoken, and I will do it."
PSALM: Psalms 92: 2 - 3, 13 - 16
2 to declare thy steadfast love in the morning, and thy faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
13 They are planted in the house of the LORD, they flourish in the courts of our God.
14 They still bring forth fruit in old age, they are ever full of sap and green,
15 to show that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
SECOND READING: 2 Corinthians 5: 6 - 10
6 So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord,
7 for we walk by faith, not by sight.
8 We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him.
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.
GOSPEL: Mark 4: 26 - 34
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."
33 With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it;
34 he did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything.