“And by the torrent on the banks thereof on both sides shall grow all trees that bear fruit: their leaf shall not fall off, and their fruit shall not fail: every month shall they bring forth first fruits, because the waters thereof shall issue out of the sanctuary: and the fruits thereof shall be for food, and the leaves thereof for medicine.” (Ezekiel 47:12)
Ezekiel speaks of a time when God’s people will eat from a tree which will provide healing, a reference to the tree of life mentioned in the Garden of Eden. On one occasion I was reading St. Jerome’s homilies and he noted that the tree of life is wisdom (Proverbs 3:18) and Christ is wisdom (1 Corinthians 1:24) so Christ is the new tree of life. This made me think of something which may shed light on the passage from Ezekiel above. What do Catholics eat every mass? Christ! So what do Catholics eat every mass? We eat from the Tree of Life! So the Eucharist is the tree of life which Ezekiel prophesied we would eat and would be for us “medicine”, or the “medicine of immortality” as described by St. Ignatius of Antioch, the disciple of the Apostle John. What an amazing privilege! We get to eat from the tree of life in the garden after all! And if we do so worthily we will live with the second Adam but if we do so unworthily we will die like the first Adam. Let us eat from the tree of life, the Eucharist, worthily and not imitate our forefather who ate of it unworthily.