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    St. Mary's Parish
    211 Avenue O South
    Saskatoon, SK
    S7M 2R6

    Phone: 306 244 2983
    Fax: 306 242 6461
    stmarysrectory@sasktel.net

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  • Mass Times

    Sunday Masses
    Saturday: 7pm
    Sunday: 9am, 11am,
    1pm Aboriginal Mass with Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish
    4pm mass in Spanish

    Weekday Mass Times:
    Monday to Saturday: 9am
    Wednesday: 9am, 7:15pm


    Perpetual Help Devotions at both Wednesday Masses

    Adoration and Benediction on First Saturdays following the 9:00 AM Mass until 12:00 Noon
  • Reconciliation

    Saturday: 4-5pm, 6-6:45pm
    Sunday: 12:30-1pm (Guadalupe Parish)
    Sunday: 3-4pm in Spanish
    Wednesday: 6:30-7pm

    Or by appointment
  • Office Hours

    Monday to Friday
    8:30am to 12 Noon
    12:30pm to 4:00pm

31st Sunday in Ordinary Time

Transformations and Trees

By Alice Camille

What sort of experiences lead to life-transforming changes? When has an event or relationship opened a door to new possibilities that you couldn’t imagine before?

Among the most life-transforming episodes of my life, climbing trees doesn’t figure prominently. I’ve climbed a few. Let’s just say I entered an orchard and ate a few contraband cherries in my youth. Otherwise, I’ve befriended trees, reveled in their beauty, wept over some that died, planted a few when land was available. If I ever had a pet, it would probably be a tree.

While I count myself a tree advocate and think of Arbor Day as a holy day, I can’t point to a personal episode when a tree changed my life. Yet trees practically count as biblical characters when reviewing salvation history. In the Garden, you’ve got the tree of life and the tree of good and evil. You’ve got Abraham’s terebinth at Mamre where he encountered angels bearing good news, and the broom tree where Elijah lay down discouraged enough to die but rose up refreshed by another angel. Hagar, Jeremiah, and Isaiah all had divine encounters at trees. Amos made his living by them before being summoned to prophecy. Healing, benevolent trees figure in the psalms and prophecies. If a shoot hadn’t sprouted from the truncated tree of Jesse, where would we be? Between the cedars of Lebanon and the olive trees of Palestine, the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were built and nourished. In Ezekiel and Revelation, symbolic trees promise new life and healing futures. In parables, a mustard seed becomes a mighty tree that represents God’s kingdom. And of course, at the center of history stands the terrible, holy tree upon which history’s savior was hung and which remains the tree of life for all who seek it.

Biblically speaking, the sycamore tree in Jericho in today’s story has a long lineage. One man short of stature climbs up its limbs to see over the heads of a crowd. Another man entirely, long on courage, scrambles down to stand before his new Lord. How could a few minutes spent in a tree make such a difference? Biblical trees always offer one invaluable thing: perspective. Up there, sheltered in those benevolent sturdy limbs, Zacchaeus was able to see more clearly than he ever did at ground level. If a tree in Genesis once imparted the fateful knowledge of good and evil, Zacchaeus’ encounter by means of this tree offers him the same understanding. Only for Zacchaeus, already a great sinner, apprehending his fault becomes the vehicle of his rescue. He learned, just a heartbeat before the rest of the world, how a tree might save your life.

10-october-30-2016

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