In today’s first reading (Ez 47:1-9, 12) the prophet Ezekiel announces the coming of a river–a river that, from its origin in the temple of God, will bring life to all things that its water touches.
Here are the last two verses from the reading:
And wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.
And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”
That river still flows today.
This reading reminds me of the poem “I See His Blood Upon the Rose”, in which the speaker makes this comment : “His cross is every tree.”
The blessed cross, that chunk of tree, produces fruits that surpass those of any other tree. His cross alone produces the only real food that can sustain and satisfy. His cross alone can give us true healing.
His cross is every tree. We are floating on the river of life–a river that has its share of ups and downs. But along the side exists that tree which always gives us what we need.
There is always life in that river. Christ’s tree gives us the food we need for food, and its leaves give us all the healing we need.
The question for us is the same on Christ issues to the sick man near Beth-za’tha in the Gospel (Jn 5:1-16): “Do you want to be healed?” Do we want life in its fullness? Do we want to be nourished?