When you were at school did you learn the following poem? Do you often still recite it when you are out walking in Nature? Did you ever climb a tree in your garden or at a nearby park? I wonder if the wealthy tax collector Zacchaeus in the Gospel story this weekend (Luke 19:1-10) had a similar appreciation for the sycamore tree he climbed in order “to see what kind of man Jesus was“?
” I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.” Joyce Kilmer
May our encounter with trees in the coming week lead us to see Jesus and hear him calling us to make whatever changes we need to be saved from selfishness and brought closer to God and God’s way of justice and peace for all.
The following reflection by Veronica Lawson RSM is offered as a resource for prayer in the coming week.
It first appeared at https://www.mercyworld.org/library/sunday-gospel-2019/
The sycamore tree in Jericho that Zacchaeus climbed. May our encounter with trees help us catch a greater glimpse of Jesus and his message for us and for the world.