Courageous, we are, although we perceive that while we are in domicile in the body we are ex-domiciled from the Personal Name.
Through faith, we walk, not by sight.
Courageous, we are. We do good doxology in our thoughts of being ex-domiciled from our body and are in domiciled with the Personal Name.
God will make us visible, in front of the face of the Bema of Christ, to receive our reward according to what he did in the body, noble or paltry.
For the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, celebrated at our Reno Cathedral, St. Paul emphasizes, we are to be courageous, and the importance of our near death experience. We are ex-domiciled from our body and alive to the next one. St. Paul speaks of the virtues of us as Catholic Christians leaving our bodies, code for death. St. Paul also speaks of “Paltry,” he uses the Greek word “Paul.” Next to Christ, St. Paul thinks of himself as Paul-tery. We are to look for what is noble. What is noble?
The first reading for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time tells us, “The cedar will put forth branches, bear fruit, and become a majestic cedar. Birds of every kind will dwell beneath it…
The Hebrew and Aramaic word for “a tree” also means “a counselor.” The Hebrew and Aramaic words for a cedar also mean “a prominent man,” or “a scholar.” Ezekiel presents the leaders of his day, and ours. The higher we think we are, the more likely it is that God will bring the ax to the tree. Every tree not producing beautiful fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
Mark 8 relates, “Jesus put spittle on the eyes of the blind man and laid his hands on him, ‘Do you see anything?’ The blind man replied, “I see people looking like trees and walking.” Jesus laid hands on his eyes a second time and he saw clearly.” The Gospel compares people to trees. At first, people look like walking trees, the cold-hearted old men who lord it over the little people. After Jesus touches the blind man a second time, he sees people in all of their humanity.
The Gospel for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time compares, “The kingdom of God,
is as a mustard seed, when it is sown in the ground, is the smallest of all the spores of the earth.
Once sown, it springs up and becomes the largest of plants putting forth large branches, so the birds of the sky can dwell in its shade.”
The first reading and the Gospel reading both mention “birds,” “Zephyr,” in Hebrew and Aramaic “Bright ones.” That is the common people. The purpose of the cedar is to put forth branches, twigs, and leaves to feed and house the common people, the bright ones.
The parable of the sower comes just before our Gospel reading for the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time and reminds us, the beautiful soil is aerated soil, filled with air, Spirit, and therefore soft soil. Like the tree, the soil feeds and nourishes all life around it.
Our Gospel reading discusses how grain grows, the fault of the Pharisees of Jesus’ time and the conservative leaders of our time own time. They need to be in control. “A man scatters seed, falls sleep and rises night and day. The seed sprouts and grows, he knows not how.” The farmer knows not how his grain grows. If he does know, it does not matter.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ time received a raw deal, the same raw deal middle managers receive today. They were answerable to the Roman government. If they do not keep control of those under them, the Romans will come and… Our modern leaders answer to higher management types, the stockholders, and a distant government. If they do not persuade those under them to produce, the powerful will come and… Managers must keep control. Feeling the pressure, they become scrub cattle, mean and nasty.
St. Paul reminds us, “Courageous we are to be; we perceive that while we are in domicile in the body we are ex-domiciled from the Personal Name… Courageous we are to be. God will place us all before the face of the Bema of Christ, to receive our reward according to our actions, noble or paltry.” Love of God by loving his property, in particular, our neighbor is noble. All the rest is paltry. God causes the grain to grow, not us.