The Path of Life

The Path of Life

Sunday, June 17, 2012

We know not how it grows

“Its branches turned toward him.”
Ezekiel 17:6

The branch of a large tree twists and turns upward.

Sunday, June 17, 2012
11th Sunday in Ordinary Time—B

Ezekiel 17:22-24
2Corinthians 5:6-10
Mark 4:26-34

As beautiful as it is, nature can sometimes seem harsh and indiscriminate—whether it’s the environment we’re talking about, humanity itself, or all the natural forces that direct them. The storms of life fell many trees in the world, both literally and figuratively, and the body, mind, and soul are not exempted.

While it is necessary and healthy to survey and mourn the damage wrought by the occasional tempest, focusing on it can severely limit or distort our perception of all the good surrounding the storm—or even arising from it. We must, as St. Paul says in today’s second reading, “walk by faith, not by sight.”

Life certainly takes many unexpected twists and turns, but God’s promise to us is that he is always at work in the world—whether we see it or not, or even whether we believe it or not. Like a tiny seed slowly sprouting, taking root, maturing, blooming, and striving toward the sun, the Kingdom of God continues to grow upward and outward. “Behold, I make all things new,” God promises, for “all things work for good for those who love God” (cf. Rev. 21:5; Romans 8:28).

God gently beckons every withered tree to bloom, put forth branches, and bear fruit, so that all may dwell beneath the shade of the Almighty (cf. Ezekiel 17:23-25; Mark 4:32). By God’s promise and grace, through the Tree of Life that is Christ, the Kingdom of God is sprouting and growing night and day, in war and peace, in raging storms and restful stillness…

… though we know not how.

“I, the Lord, lift high the lowly tree.”
Ezekiel 17:24

A fallen, decaying tree regenerates, giving life to many more trees.

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