The Cross is the New Tree of Life and the Eucharist is its Fruit

Dear brothers and sisters,

God’s plan for the human family was disrupted by eating. When Adam and Eve, giving into the devil’s temptation, ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of good and evil, they disobeyed God. That was original sin. By eating that fruit, they expressed and enacted their desire to live by their own standards, not by God's. However, cutting themselves off from God was a very bad idea. Without God, we are nothing. He is our Creator and the source of all good things. Thus, when the human family rebelled against him through original sin, we expelled ourselves from paradise and put ourselves at the mercy of evil. That’s why the world is so full of misery, suffering, and crime. Eating the forbidden fruit also introduced death into the human family. God’s original plan was for us to eat of the tree of life, which would preserve us from death. After original sin, the tree of life was off limits; death becomes our constant companion and our inevitable destination. Yet if God’s plan was disrupted by eating, it is also restored by eating. Since we had run away from paradise and could no longer eat of the tree of life, God came up with a brilliant alternative: he brought the tree of life out to us. That was the mission of Jesus Christ. By dying on the cross, he repaired the damage done by original sin, suffering in our place and untying the knot of our disobedience. In this way, the cross of Jesus Christ became the new tree of life. This tree is heavily laden with supernatural fruit: the Eucharist, the body and blood of our Lord. When we eat of this fruit, we express our repentance and our desire to return from our rebellion, to be united to Christ. This supernatural fruit is the antidote to the poison of the forbidden fruit. It is our medicine, gradually healing our selfishness and sinfulness, and nourishing Christ-like generosity, wisdom, courage, and love. This is what we celebrate joyfully on today's Solemn Feast of Corpus Christi.

With blessings,

Fr. Reichlen

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Church of St. John 

Love God, Love People, Make Disciples

Church of St. John

570-223-9144 Ext. #2

5171 Milford Rd.

E. Stroudsburg, PA 18302

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