17 June, Sunday – Walking by Faith and not by sight

17 June

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Ezekiel 17:22-24

The Lord says this:

‘From the top of the cedar,
from the highest branch I will take a shoot
and plant it myself on a very high mountain.
I will plant it on the high mountain of Israel.
It will sprout branches and bear fruit,
and become a noble cedar.
Every kind of bird will live beneath it,
every winged creature rest in the shade of its branches.
And every tree of the field will learn that I, the Lord, am the one
who stunts tall trees and makes the low ones grow,
who withers green trees and makes the withered green.
I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.’

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2 Corinthians 5:6-10

We are always full of confidence when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight – we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord. Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him. For all the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.

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Mark 4:26-34

Jesus said to the crowds: ‘This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man throws seed on the land. Night and day, while he sleeps, when he is awake, the seed is sprouting and growing; how, he does not know. Of its own accord the land produces first the shoot, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come.’

He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’

Using many parables like these, he spoke the word to them, so far as they were capable of understanding it. He would not speak to them except in parables, but he explained everything to his disciples when they were alone.

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And when the crop is ready, he loses no time: he starts to reap because the harvest has come

I have had people ask me why I continue to be a Catholic, in light of what has happened to the Church in recent days. These friends of mine remind me that to stay faithful to God takes an act of faith. Surprisingly, even though they are non-believers, they are actually correct. What keeps me going in light of all these events is my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. The readings of today remind us of the need to stay faithful to Christ and that the reward will be coming to us, not in this world, but in the next.

St Paul reminds us in the second reading of today that having faith in the Lord Jesus is what keeps him going on earth. Our actions which we do on this earth should be a manifestation of the faith which we have in Christ. This means that we should always take stock of what we are supposed to do in our lives at regular intervals. Focus on the Lord Jesus and ask Him if all our actions and behaviour are directed towards the purpose which He has for us.

Our time on this earth is limited. The first parable in the Gospel reminds us of the finite time we have on this earth, and that we are have to be mindful of how we use the time before us. We will be called for an account of the time which we have and it is at this juncture which we must not be found wanting. As we continue in our journey in life, let us seek God’s guidance to help us make decisions that are prudent and practical.

(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we pray for your guidance and love to help us in our journey on this earth

Thanksgiving: We give thanks for the many chances we have received to learn life’s lessons

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