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Tree of Death and Tree of Life

During Holy Week, we’re called to a serious contemplation of what the Church calls ‘Salvation History’. The Bible teaches us that suffering and death entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Rather than giving up on us, God worked tirelessly down the ages to repair the damage. First, he made a Covenant with Abraham. Then, he extended it to all of Abraham’s descendants, the Jewish people. When the Jews were trapped in slavery in Egypt, God freed them. This prefigured his greater plan to liberate us all from the terrible consequences of sin. Finally, another tree would become the instrument of our salvation as God the Son sacrificed himself on the cross for our sake. When he then rose from the dead, this ultimate symbol of human darkness and brutality was transformed into the offer a new Covenant for the whole of humankind. Jesus showed us that there is no limit to the power of God’s saving love. Even the worst of sins can be forgiven. If we walk faithfully with God, even death can be transformed into new and everlasting life. But the story of ‘Salvation History’ does not end there. It must continue with each of us. We must decide whether or not we will embrace the Covenant Jesus has offered to us by inviting him into our hearts to transform us. If we truly wish to celebrate Easter properly, we must first spend some time this week at the foot of cross, mindful of our sins and filled with gratitude for the God who loves us in spite of them.

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