Scripture Paper: “See How the Cross of the Lord Stands Revealed as a Tree of Life”

Here’s a paper I wrote for my Scripture class on Wisdom & Apocalyptic Literature. It has some insights into this season of Lent that might be of help for your upcoming journey into Holy Week.

Click here for the PDF of my paper

Here’s one section in particular that I enjoyed writing and wanted
to include some images below.

TREE OF LIFE: TODAY’S ACTUALIZATION

In the holy sacrifice of the Mass, we get to see with the eyes of faith “how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life.”

holy-sacrifice-of-the-mass-after-pentecost

As we step into “the entrance of the temple” (Ezek 47:1) and wade our way through the life-giving waters that “flow from the sanctuary” (47:12), we discover that this is no ordinary church building but rather the new Garden of Eden.

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As barren trees, we enter once more into this holy dwelling with our crosses and place them on the altar to be grafted onto Christ’s cross – the fruitful Tree of Life (cf. Rom 11:17-20, Eph 2:13-22).

Having “washed [our] robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14) through baptism (cf. Rom 6:3-4), we are rewarded with “permission to eat” (2:7) from the immortal Tree of Life.

FlamingSwordSmall

As the cherubim puts down his blood-soaked sword that was once flaming with the fire of God’s jealous love (cf. Deut 4:23-24), we see God’s holy protector bow down in adoration before the Bread of angels – for this is not merely divine sustenance but is actually God Himself.

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Being transformed into fruitful trees of life “for the healing of the nations” (Rev 22:2), we are sent forth from Mass to proclaim: “See how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life!”

 

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