Archive for June 16, 2018

Eleventh Sunday of Ordinary Time

Posted: June 16, 2018 by CatholicJules in Sunday Reflections

Tree of Righteousness:

Scott Hahn Reflects
on the Eleventh Sunday of 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.

On Today’s Gospel

Posted: June 16, 2018 by CatholicJules in Personal Thoughts & Reflections

If we truly love the Lord our God and are living in His love then even our answers or replies to others will reflect our relationship with Him.

No one can say we have not heard the Lord’s calling. For we have all been called to discipleship. The only difference between each one is our response to His call. Have we shut our ears? Have we procrastinated? Have we let inertia take over? Have we decided it was in all our minds? That we are not ready? Or have we responded yes Lord, let it be done according to Your will. Let us meditate on the Lord’s word taken from Luke 9:62

“Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”

Lord here I am, use me! Amen

First reading

1 Kings 19:19-21
Elisha leaves the plough to follow Elijah

Leaving Mount Horeb, Elijah came on Elisha son of Shaphat as he was ploughing behind twelve yoke of oxen, he himself being with the twelfth. Elijah passed near to him and threw his cloak over him. Elisha left his oxen and ran after Elijah. ‘Let me kiss my father and mother, then I will follow you’ he said. Elijah answered, ‘Go, go back; for have I done anything to you?’ Elisha turned away, took the pair of oxen and slaughtered them. He used the plough for cooking the oxen, then gave to his men, who ate. He then rose, and followed Elijah and became his servant.

Gospel

Matthew 5:33-37
Do not swear: say ‘Yes’ if you mean Yes, ‘No’ if you mean No

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you: do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God’s throne; or by the earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great king. Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black. All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the evil one.’