A Garden was our first home, but the human family was banished from that garden, Genesis says. Yet the ancient story offers hope in God’s call through the Jews, first of all. Then, Christianity further proclaims God’s promise of life, through Jesus Christ, God’s Son..
The psalms constantly recall the promise of God in the imagery of Genesis. Psalm I is an example:
The just are like “a tree
planted near streams of water,
that yields its fruit in season;
Its leaves never wither;
whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 1)
“The just shall flourish like the palm tree.
They shall grow like a cedar of Lebanon.
planted in the house of the LORD,
they shall flourish in the courts of our God.”
The temple in Jerusalem continued to recall the Garden of the Lord, according to Psalm 80 and the Prophet Ezekiel. (Ez. 48)
As God banishes the human family from the first garden, God also makes a promise in the Book of Genesis itself:
“I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
They will strike at your head,
while you strike at their heel.” (Genesis 3,15)
More than just a declaration of enmity between the human family and the devil, or hostility of humanity towards snakes, Christianity saw the promise of Jesus Christ in these words. He blesses the human family and all creation again.
Jesus rose from the dead in a garden; the Cross he died on was a tree of life. Mary, his mother, is the new Eve, “mother of all the living.” In Christian tradition, she’s often represented crushing the serpent beneath her feet.
Our Mary Garden expresses this Christian vision. Mary holds her Son, who looks out on the garden as a place of promise, under the sky, through the seasons of summer, winter, spring and fall.
Millions of years ago, volcanic rock thrust up from the underland; a glacier brought rocks here from far to the north thousands of years ago. Flowers bloom for a season, trees and plants weather the days and the nights.
And the human family comes to this garden to remember what God has done and to pray.
At the name of Jesus every knee must bend, in the heavens, on earth and under the earth, and every tongue profess to the glory of God the Father–Jesus Christ is Lord!
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death Amen.