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Sunday, June 17, 2012

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11th Sunday Ordinary Time

Ezekiel 17:22-24
2 Corinthians 5:6-10
Psalm 92:2-3, 13-16
Mark 4:26-34

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"And all the trees of the field shall know that I, the Lord, bring low the high tree, lift high the lowly tree, wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom." —Ezekiel 17:24

The Bible begins with the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gn 2:9). It ends with the trees of life on the banks of the river of life-giving waters in heaven (Rv 22:1-2). Ezekiel described the Messianic kingdom as a majestic cedar tree on a high mountain (Ez 17:22-23). In contrast, Jesus described His kingdom in a much less impressive way as being like a mustard tree or shrub (Mk 4:32). Finally, the early Church referred to Jesus' cross as a tree (see Acts 13:29).

The cross is the ultimate tree of life bridging Genesis to Revelation, the beginning to the end, earth to heaven, and humanity to God. The tree of the cross is the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies. It is the means of establishing God's kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. It is the way to enter the kingdom of heaven.

There were trees in paradise. There are trees in heaven. The Spirit called the early Church to view the cross as a tree. The poet Joyce Kilmer was right when he said he would never see anything as wondrous as a tree.

Prayer:  Father, may the sight of a tree make me think with gratitude of Your Son's cross.

Promise:  "We walk by faith, not by sight." —2 Cor 5:7

Praise:  Praise You, Jesus, crucified and risen Lord of life and love. Alleluia forever!

Reference:  (Read the Bible each day. We have several tape series to help you. Overview of the Bible is six audio tapes starting with AV 10A-1 or three video tapes starting with V-10A. 15-minute Bible Teaching - New Testament is forty audio tapes starting with #700. An Introduction to each Book of the Bible is 32 audio tapes starting with AV 21-1 or 17 video tapes starting with V-21.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, December 29, 2012

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