|Illumination of the Tree of Life and Death, Berthold Furtmeyer, 1481.|
Mary as the Tree of Life
The Mystery of the Immaculate Conception Hidden in Genesis 3:24
|Immaculate Conception, Francisco de Zurbará, 1660's.|
Redeemed by the Tree of the Cross
|Tree of the Cross, Panel Galleria dell'Accademia, Pacino di Bonaguida, 1302-1340 (active).|
We might ask, “Why the flaming sword?” The sword has strong connections to justice, and fire to love. It was God’s act of love by which He preveniently justified Mary – thus redeeming Her body and soul at the very instant She was conceived. How was this justification of love accomplished? We know it was on the Cross, because we “are justified by his blood” (Rom 5:9) and “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. [For as the Scripture states:] ‘By his wounds you have been healed’.” (1 Pet 2:24).