by Fr Duncan McVicar on 27/03/2016 -
A wonderful story from medieval times traces the wood of the cross on which Jesus died, all the way back to the Garden of Paradise, where God made grow “every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” (Genesis 2,9) The great tree of Paradise is the “tree of life.” Seeds from the tree of life, so our story goes, were planted from age to age, until the time of Jesus, when a tree produced from one of its seeds provided wood for his cross. Once again, God offers new life through the cross of Jesus, his Son, and invites the human family to return to Paradise. Here is a story that may help us understand that, in spite of appearances, the cross of Jesus brings life and not death. Easter means that we believe after all our “Good Fridays”, Easter Sunday will come!
The Easter Tree
In Paradise where life began a wondrous tree grew tall, that stretched its arms to the tiniest bird, and gave God’s gifts to all. And Adam and Eve in the evening shade together sang under the tree.
God sang along in their merry song, a song so light and free. But then one day a serpent came and the beautiful garden grew cold. The tiny birds flew far away and songs were no longer told.
The tree was cased in fiercesome ice, and cried to God on high: “O God, let me shelter your creatures again, let them sing in the evening sky.”
So an angel of God took a seed from the tree and gave it to Adam and Eve. “Take this seed from the garden tree, plant it and always believe. A tree one day shall open its arms to tiny birds again, and all the world shall sing for joy; and children shall sing their Amen.”
Before the flood, Noah planted the seed; from its branches he built the ark. He built it so strong all the animals came, to float on the flood mark. When the waters went down they blessed the tree, and God who showed them a way, And a child took a seed from the saving tree, to plant it another day.
When Jesus was born, Mary planted the seed on a hill near Bethlehem. “God’s peace, God’s peace,” the angels sang, “God’s peace is coming again.” On that day a tiny Child crushed the serpent’s head, and earth grew warm in the winter’s cold, around his manger bed.
They looked for a tree when Jesus died and they found it on Bethlehem’s hill. “Alleluia, Alleluia,” everything sang as he rose from the dead by God’s will. And the Easter tree rejoiced in song, the tiny birds as well. It bore a prize beyond all else, beyond what words could tell.
We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you. because by the tree of the cross you have saved the world!
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