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Sunday, June 16, 2024

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11th Sunday Ordinary Time

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

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“I, the Lord...wither up the green tree, and make the withered tree bloom.” —Ezekiel 17:24

Once Jesus looked for fruit on a fig tree. The tree had no fruit, only leaves. Jesus cursed that fig tree and it “withered up instantly” to its roots (Mt 21:19; Mk 11:20). It didn’t bear fruit, for it was not yet the season for figs (Mk 11:13). This could be Jesus’ way of indicating that the kingdom of God was now at hand. The time of Jesus’ visitation came (Lk 19:44), and there was no fruit to be found after “three years” of ministry (see Lk 13:6-9).

In the natural world, some seasons are for bearing fruit and others for being dormant. In the kingdom of God, however, we are to bear fruit “in season and out of season” (2 Tm 4:2, RSV-CE). In God’s kingdom, the trees bear fruit every month of the year (Rv 22:2); there is no off-season.

We may be weak and tiny, yet the Lord can make us bloom “and bear fruit” for His Kingdom (Ez 17:23). Though we may be old and “withered,” He will make “the withered tree bloom” (Ez 17:24). Jesus heals the withered (see Lk 6:6).

Rooted in the Word of God, we will be a tree planted by streams of water, yielding constant fruit without withering (Ps 1:3, RSV-CE; see also Ez 47:12, RSV-CE). We will bear fruit even in old age when our bodies would normally wither (Ps 92:15; Is 40:29-31).

A time will come when we must bear fruit (see Lk 13:9; Jn 15:2-6). If we bear no fruit, we will be “like a withered, rejected branch, picked up to be thrown in the fire and burnt” (Jn 15:6). Be wither-proof. Stay rooted in Jesus.

Prayer:  Father, give me such a hunger for Your Word that I will become wither-proof and bear the abundant fruit You seek.

Promise:  “We walk by faith, not by sight.” —2 Cor 5:7

Praise:  Alleluia! Jesus will come again in glory. Praise be to Jesus!

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

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