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Ez 17:22-24

The reading is part of an allegory (beginning from vv3-21) through which Ezekiel describes the political situation of Israel in exile and its consequent restoration. It speaks of an eagle planting a shoot that becomes a verdant vine (Israel) and another eagle (King Nebuchadnezzar) transplanting the verdant vine to a foreign soil (Babylon). God will pluck a branch from the crest of that cedar and transplant it to the mountain height of Israel. There the branch will grow into a “majestic cedar” and “all kinds of winged birds will dwell in the shade of its branches” (vv. 22-23). Thus, everyone “will know that I am the Lord” (v. 24). All of this happens at Yahweh’s bidding and cannot be explained by diplomacy, treaties, or military conquest. This is repeatedly seen in his actions as the Lord of inverted values- the lowly rise and the mighty fall (v23; 1 Sam 2:7f; Lk 1:52f).

2 Cor 5:6-10

St. Paul speaks of God, preparing a dwelling in heaven not built by hand for his followers. He also speaks of man’s mortality being clothed with immortal life (vv. 1-5). Though in a human body and away from the Lord, they are courageous, “for we walk by faith, and not by sight…. We would rather leave the body and go home to the Lord” (vv. 6-8). “Therefore, we aspire to please the Lord… For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ” and receive recompense for what one has done (v. 10).

Mk 4:26 – 34

The first of these two parables is found only in Mark. Both use plant life to image the work of God on the human scene, (cf first reading). The first presents the growth of the reign as determined and brought about by God, quite independent of human resources (4:26-29). While not intended to diminish man’s fervor and labor, it does point clearly to the Author of the church’s growth and development upon whom all ultimately depends. The second contrasts the inauspicious beginnings of the reign with its ultimate impressive success (4:30-34). Small beginnings produce great things. It teaches further that the kingdom of God is universal. It is for all. This is the point of the mustard seed parable (vv30-33).

The readings emphasize the impressive character of God’s reign and how he works as it grows and expands within the world. Just as God loved and transformed Israel, so does he love us now with immense overflowing love, despite our sinfulness and frailties. We are reminded that so much of the good that is accomplished in our lives and the world is due to the action of the Lord. Even as we suffer in our earthly dwelling, our Lord has prepared for us an eternal dwelling in his Kingdom. Let us continue to trust God that everything will turn out well for us all according to his scheme. Amen

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Veritas Editorial

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

Rev. Fr. Anton CT Pascual

President of Radio Veritas

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