Cosmic Tree

“Cosmic Tree”
A reflection on Matthew 13:31-32
Sunday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time (Year A)
©️2023 Gloria M. Chang

He proposed another parable to them. “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a person took and sowed in a field. It is the smallest of all the seeds, yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants. It becomes a large bush, and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

Matthew 13:31-32

Tree of Unity

Beginning as a tiny seed in a Virgin, Jesus Christ, the Tree of Life, gradually encompasses the cosmos, stretching from Earth to Heaven. Unlike the kings of the earth, who fancy themselves as cosmic trees to shelter the birds of the air (a symbol of the nations) but are cut down (Ezek 31:2–13; Dan 4:17–18), the humble king of kings dies and rises to eternal life. From the mouth of Christ, the parable of the mustard seed proclaims the fulfillment of Israel’s mission to gather the nations to the Lord. 

Thus says the Lord God:
I, too, will pluck from the crest of the cedar
the highest branch.
From the top a tender shoot
I will break off and transplant
on a high, lofty mountain.
On the mountain height of Israel
I will plant it.
It shall put forth branches and bear fruit,
and become a majestic cedar.
Every small bird will nest under it,
all kinds of winged birds will dwell
in the shade of its branches. 
Every tree of the field will know
that I am the Lord.

Ezekiel 17:22-24a

Birds of the nations flock to the Tree,
Soaring to heavenly unity!

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