Monday of the First Week of Advent Reflection: November 29
You're invited to listen to Justin Gough' s reflection for Monday in the first week of Advent, part of Cathedral's Advent Reflection series. You may also listen on our podcast here (or wherever you listen to podcasts).
Continue reading this email or visit our Reflections webpage for a written version of this reflection!
At the center of the marvelous apse mosaic of the Basilica of St. Clement in the City of Rome stands Christ crucified. From the cross’s base billow forth green vines in circular patterns, enfolding within flowers and fruit and gathering around birds, animals, and people, all upon a backdrop of brilliant, heavenly gold. This 12th century depiction of the mystery of the cross depicts what the Liturgy of the Hours prays on the First Sunday of Lent: “See how the cross of the Lord stands revealed as the tree of life.”
What had been sealed off from humanity in the Garden of Eden, the tree whose fruit would bring humanity into everlasting life, has been restored to us in the cross. It was on the mountain of Calvary, in Jerusalem, that the Lord’s cross was established, and, because of this, Calvary became, according to the prophecy of Isaiah, “the highest mountain” and was “raised above the hills.” Down the centuries, from east and west, all nations have indeed streamed toward it and said, “Come, let us climb the Lord’s mountain,” to draw near to the tree of life.
By the cross on the Lord’s mountain, all of creation is restored. What the sin of humanity has divided, Christ, who is God made man, has drawn back together by his Precious Blood shed on the cross. At the beginning of Advent especially, we await in hope the full revelation of the cross as the tree of life, when heaven and earth will be made anew, and all creation will, at last, recline in the peace of the Kingdom of heaven.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, in this Advent season, restore your creation by restoring us. Draw us to yourself that we may have life in abundance. Amen.
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