Note: A few years ago I took the time to ponder the windows in the new Catholic Cathedral in Saskatoon and wrote a series of brief meditations on each of them. As the windows depict salvation history, a history we have been recalling during the Easter Triduum. Finally we have arrived from death through life in Christ: HE IS RISEN — ALLELUIA! Oh glorious light of resurrection, shine on us.
Here is the final reflection on the TREE OF LIFE:
The Tree of Life – Gloria Lux
In the end back at the beginning,
for the beginning matters …
Everything shall live where the river flows
with healing streams of mercy for the nations.
For God says each day in each circumstance:
it is good, very good – it can be good, very good.
Let go and let me…
Divine creating power of love and goodness
breaking through death forever.
Horrifying cross and innocent death sprouting love,
revealing divine power and majesty with delight.
Birds nesting in little bundles of fluff,
chirping and feeding and fluttering in songs of joy
while nursing tears and kissing blood into
fragile yet splendid prairie flowers
surprising in abundance and beauty
despite life’s arid soil, scorching heat
and scarce rainfall of blessings.
In city and town grass stubbornly grows
through cement cracks,
love persistently peaks through despairing spirits,
sprouting fragile trust and hope.
In a quiet stable a baby’s gentle power of love
opens the most hardened of hearts
into a vulnerable new beginning.
Emmanuel – God with us …
Where, O Death, is your victory?
Where, O Death, is your sting?
Let anyone who is thirsty come to me,
38and let the one who believes drink.
The water I give will become in you
a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.
With brightly burning, witnessing flames of joy,
and with the resounding exuberance
of Handel’s Halleluiah
creation’s chorus of life bursts forth in praise:
O Tree of Life, O Cross of Redemption;
great is our God, great is God’s love
revealed in Father, Son and Spirit
creating, redeeming and sustaining
day by day, from dangerous cliff to delicate moment
with joy and grace,
in order that everything shall live and love
where God’s river of mercy,
opened in Christ Jesus, flows eternally.
A new heaven and a new earth,
here and now — MERCY.
The beginning matters – always, always.
Original blessing in beauty and love,
clothed in both freedom and mercy.
Flesh of my flesh, bone of my bone …
restored and sanctified … at last.
And God saw that it was good, very good.
And on the seventh day
God leaned on the windowsill
and rested from all that had been created.
Looking out onto the prairie harmony
of life in all its splendour
– gopher kissing bee, thistle hugging lilies,
wheat and weeds growing together –
God smiled contentedly and hummed to himself:
All shall be well, all shall be well,
and all matter of things shall be well,
for I made it so.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.