How Are WE all Related? VISIONS OF MARY (17)

During this season of abundance in the Northern Hemisphere the flowers of Spring have given way to the produce of summer. Small groups of seeds are growing into abundant harvests. Everything comes from somewhere as the images of the Tree of Jesse highlight. When will we remember that as God’s created children we are part of God’s immense family that includes everyone?

Tree of Jesse Window

Where does God from? It’s a big question. Where do you come from? It’s complicated too.

Jesse, The base of Jesus’s genealogical tree with two prophets (spiritual ancestors of Jesus)

Both Jesus’s origin and ours have to do with bodies, ancestors, and a spiritual unfolding that involves generations upon generations.

Mary, just below Jesus in the Tree of Jesse

Who do you identify as key ancestors? Who do you forget to mention? (Mary is the only woman shown in the Tree of Jesse.)

Jesus, flowering at the top of the Tree of Jesse (with two prophets and reminders of God’s Spirit)

In this season of rethinking our stories including the stories of our cultures and societies, what new ways of looking will help you have broader, truer perspectives?

Scriptural Touchstone
A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots.  Isaiah 11:1 NRSV

Tree of Jesse Window

Invitation to Pray
As you gaze at this image of Jesus’s physical and spiritual lineage, call to mind and heart your own ancestors and all the members of your family. If you have taken a DNA test, remember all of those who have come before you and where they lived. Ask yourself, “What is God inviting me to look at in a new way?” Communicate your questions, concerns, shortcomings, and hopes to God.


These images are from the Tree of Jesse Window (1145-55) in the Chartres Cathedral in France.

The photo at the top of this page can be found on page 12 in Chapter One of Visions of Mary: Art, Devotion, and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral.

To Explore Further

Look inside Visions of Mary (Introduction and Chapter One). Available at AmazonParaclete Press, and Barnes and Noble
Interested in buying the book in volume? Contact Sister Estelle at Paraclete Press for pricing options.
Visit Jill’s website on the Chartres Cathedral.

Posts with images shown in Visions of Mary: Art, Devotion, and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral (1) The Blue Virgin Window at Chartres; (2) Looking Towards God; (3) Notre Dame de Chartres; (4) An Angel’s Perspective; (5) Mary’s Example; (6) Questioning; (7) Really?; (8) Wrapped in Love; (9) Devotion; (10) Lifted; (11) There’s More…; (12) Celebrating Life; (13) Blessing; (14) Silent Grief; (15) Embodied Support‘ (16) New Ways of Looking

Jill K H Geoffrion

Serving as a contemplative Christian minister and artist by compassionately and creatively inspiring others to seek a deeper relationship with God and a more meaningful life of service.


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