The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

Readings:
 

Ezekiel 17:22-24
Psalm 92:2-3, 13-14, 15-16
2 Corinthians 5:6-10
Mark 4:26-34

In the cryptic message of the prophet Ezekiel, long centuries before the Lord’s coming, God gave His people reason to hope. Ezekiel glimpsed a day when the Lord God would place a tree on a mountain in Israel, a tree that would “put forth branches and bear fruit.” Who could have predicted that the tree would be a cross on the hill of Calvary, and that the fruit would be salvation?

Ezekiel foresees salvation coming to “birds of every kind”—thus, not just to the people of Israel, but also to the Gentiles, who will “take wing” through their new life in Christ. God indeed will “lift high the lowly tree,” as He solemnly promises.

Such salvation surpasses humanity’s most ambitious dreams. And so we express our gratitude in the Psalm: “Lord, it is good to give thanks to you.” It is indeed good, and better still to give thanks with praise. The Psalmist speaks of those who are just upon the earth, but looks to God as the source and measure of justice, of righteousness. Like Ezekiel, he evokes the image of a flourishing tree to describe the lives of the just. The image, again, suggests the Cross as the measure of righteousness.

The Cross is a sign of contradiction to those who would rather “flourish” in worldly terms. As St. Paul emphasizes to the Corinthians, we need courage. Our faith makes us strong, and it is proved in our deeds. He reminds us that we will be judged by the ways our faith manifests itself in works: “so that each may receive recompense, according to what he did in the body, whether good or evil.”

God Himself will empower the works He expects from us, though we freely choose to correspond to His grace. In the prophetic oracles, He scattered the seed that sprang up and became the mustard tree, large enough to accommodate all the birds of the sky, just as Ezekiel had seen. He gave this doctrine to His disciples in terms they were able to understand, and He provided a full explanation. In the sacraments He provides still more: the grace of faith and the courage we need to live in the world as children of God.

Dr. Scott Hahn, St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology


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As the Diocese of Columbus reorients itself towards evangelization, the Diocese is beginning to invest more time and resources into a diocesan-wide social media presence.  As this is now beginning to grow, the Vocations Office will no longer need to carry the message in social media as the Vocations Office.  The new Social Media Department of the Diocese will have the mission of spreading the Gospel through social media and will be the avenue by which the Vocations Office works to promote a culture of vocations.  As the Vocations Office we will still continue our information website, www.seekholiness.com.  This site will be going through an exciting transformation over the next several months as the Diocese moves to a new platform.  We will also begin running our vocations-oriented messages, event announcements, and news through the diocesan social media platform.  Because of this, Face Forward’s time will be coming to a close at the end of this month.  We thank all of those who have been a part of this important work in the life of the local Church. We look forward with excitement to the spread of the Gospel and the cultivation of a culture of vocations as we enter this new phase in the life of the Diocese of Columbus.  Please continue to follow along with us through our seekholiness.com site and through the Diocese of Columbus Social Media platform.


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In Christ,
Fr. William Hahn