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Sunday, June 17, 2018

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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.

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, our Life, Love, and risen Lord God. You are "the Author of Life" (Acts 3:15). We rejoice in You!

Reference:  (For a related teaching on Accepting Jesus as Lord, Savior and God, order, view or download our leaflet or order, listen to or download CD 43-1 or DVD 43 on our website.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 27, 2018

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