Friday, April 19, 2019

LET US GO TO THE TREE OF LIFE a brief homily for Good Friday

Christ is upon the Cross or as even scripture calls it the ‘tree’.  This ‘tree’ symbolises both the Trees of Paradise and the Oak of Mamre.  Under the Oak God sat down to eat with Abraham and Sarah and promised them descendants, as many as the stars of Heaven, royal and holy.  The Trees of Paradise bear fruit that heal the nations.  Under this Tree we are offered healing, we are offered life or death.  His crown of thorns echoes His Eternal Crown as Lord and King of all that exists.  His arms are outstretched for they embrace all space and time, the past and the future.  Everything is in the shadow of the Cross for by the blood of Christ all things in heaven and earth, whether visible or invisible, are subject to Him and reconciled to God.  The cross is the epicentre of history.  Like a tree it is rooted in the earth but it reaches Heaven for Heaven has reached down and sanctified the Earth in His Incarnation.

What does He do that cross? What can the death of one man achieve? But He is no mere mortal.  He is both God and Man. On the Tree of the Cross Christ offers the Father a perfect act of worship. His whole life has been one long revelation of the Father for that is not only His mission but His very nature as Son. It is as if His whole life were one symphony that now reaches its extraordinary crescendo. It is on the Cross that the Son shows us how loveable, how worthy of obedience, how truly good the Father is by suffering and dying.  On the cross He reveals to us the Son’s love for the Father and offers that perfect love to the Father on our behalf. He offers the Father His loving humility and obedience and empties Himself even to embracing death for us.  The Cross is the heart of the Most Holy Trinity laid bare. Offering His Sacrifice through His human nature, His human body and soul, He makes of Himself and His Cross our means of salvation. He makes of the Cross a Throne of mercy, the Throne of Heaven and a Gateway to that Heaven. 
Come forward then and kiss the wood of the Cross and with your lips and your heart knock upon the Gate of Heaven and ask entry.  His arms hold the Gates  open for you.

Come kiss the tree of life and ask Christ to plant the root of His Cross in your heart.  Ask him to break the rock of sin and the hardness of all our hearts so that the Living Spring of the Spirit can well up to Eternal Life within us; so we can bear fruit in union with Him, fruit for the healing of the world.

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