Fruit Trees of Every Kind Shall Grow

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Today’s first reading was from the book of Ezekiel, one of my favorite passages about the streams of water flowing out from the side of the Temple. One line in particular grabbed me:

Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow;
their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail.
Every month they shall bear fresh fruit,
for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.
Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.

As I heard this at Mass this morning, I suddenly imagined myself as the fruit tree growing on the bank of the river. Long ago when we read this passage in our Bible study group we talked about how this image of the Temple with the streams of water flowing out of it prefigures Christ on the cross. Christ’s body is the temple and blood and water flowed out from his heart when his side was pierced by the soldier’s spear. The Divine Mercy devotions focus on the blood and water as a font of mercy and love pouring out upon Christ’s people. Recently I have felt a great thirst, a desire to draw closer to Christ’s Body in the Eucharist and so I see myself as the tree being fed by the streams of water. Oh I very much want for that grace and mercy to bear fruit in me that will not fail.

I am reminded of Psalm 128: “

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your home,
Your children like young olive plants
around your table.

Somehow I’d always sort of assumed that “fruitful” referred to childbearing; but really it’s more than that, isn’t it? The fruits the vine—or the tree—bears are the fruits of grace. They are virtues and good deeds. Above all love and mercy. Love is the fruit and mercy is the medicinal leaf. What I have hoped as I’ve carved out time to go to Mass and Adoration has been that the grace I will receive will flow out for my family, will help me to be more the wife and mother I want to be. More patient and tender and kind. More selfless and gentle. Today’s reading speaks to me heart, reminding me that indeed the Eucharist is the only life-giving font. If I plant myself there, surely I will be given what I most desire.

6 Responses to Fruit Trees of Every Kind Shall Grow

  1. Karen March 20, 2012 at 3:00 am #

    Do you think it’s fourth-baby syndrome??  My fourth is just now eight months and has NO FEAR at all. He climbed the stairs a week or two ago and went bum-over-teakettle down to the bottom (backwards flip and all) and STILL is not afraid of the stairs. 

    But he is afraid of aluminum foil. He’s a weird baby.  He’s also the fourth son of a fourth son, so my husband is certain he will be granted special graces. smile

  2. Erika March 20, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    Can’t be the fourth—Ana Therese is so scary, too. The others had a natural caution. Not her.

    Don’t worry, Mel. Those sweet cubby pads he has All Over will cushion just about any fall! smile

  3. Melanie Bettinelli March 20, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    Actually Bella and Ben were just as bad and were daredevil climbers at the same age. Of my kids only Sophie showed a healthy fear of heights.

    Erika, he actually did take a tumble off the ladder today. Scared the heck out of me. But you’re right he wasn’t really hurt. Instead, he got a cut on his head from falling into the kneeler and a bruise near his mouth from running with a stick.

    This baby’s face looks permanently dirty from all the bruises. Oy!

  4. Melanie Bettinelli March 21, 2012 at 8:01 am #

    Mary, I do worry about bumps and bruises—Sophie pulled some skin off her toe on the back step yesterday and oh it was ugly—but on Anthony shoes are even worse. He can’t walk in them and trips and stumbles with every step. And after a bit he just sits down and pulls them off anyway. So he goes barefoot like everyone else in our family except Ben who has very sensitive feet.

  5. Marcie in Canada March 21, 2012 at 9:40 am #

    Angel of God, Anthony’s Guardian dear, protect him!!!!!!!  Just spent and hour and a half at emerg with my fourth baby, who is now 5 and an ongoing daredevil.  She usually jumps off the porch when Mama’s not looking, but his time she accidentally slipped off and impaled her leg and cheek on rose bushes.  Thank you Guardian Angels that she didn’t sever any important arteries or anything.  Just a few stitches!  I agree with the no-shoes with the babies.  They’re just so much more steady in barefeet!  Blessings to you all!!!

  6. Mary March 21, 2012 at 7:46 am #

    I think I would also be fearful that his little tootsies would get bruised or splintered, with the going barefoot outside!

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