A Catholic Monthly Magazine

A meditation on the Cross

Anon Cross Tree 3There is a forest called Gethsemane or the New Eden. The forest began with one Crosstree. Each year more trees grow up around the first tree. The bark of each tree bears the distinctive red marks of a Crosstree. The red marks appear to go right through the tree; yet the tree lives. Sap oozes from these wounds. The sap’s perfume attracts all sorts of animals and other beasts that abide in the forest (2 Corinthians 2:15).

A woodcutter comes to the forest most days. When the woodcutter comes, the Crosstrees are cunning as serpents and gentle as doves (Matthew 10:16). The Crosstrees draw close together. In this way the woodcutter cannot go deep into the forest and the young trees are protected. New Crosstrees, while full of zeal, are often weak and can easily fall to the ground (Matthew 10:29-31; Romans 15:1).

When the Crosstrees draw close together the woodcutter becomes like a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8). The woodcutter cuts into the older trees. However, the Crosstrees are cunning as serpents and gentle as doves. The trees grow branches to the base of their trunks. The woodcutter’s axe only wounds the tree. Sap flows freely from the Crosstree, and more visitors come to live in the forest (John 15:4).

Sometimes, though, the woodcutter fells a Crosstree. The woodcutter drags the tree away and cuts it up into firewood. This takes the woodcutter three days. When the woodcutter returns, the Crosstree is back where it stood. However, the Crosstree is taller, its branches stretch further, and its sap more sweet-smelling. Indeed, often the forest has increased sometimes thirtyfold, sometimes sixtyfold, sometimes a hundredfold (Mt 13:8).

This is a parable. Let those who have ears, listen.


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