Tag Archives: art

Perpetual student

James Tissot (1836-1902)
Jésus enseigne le peuple près de la mer
opaque watercolor over graphite on gray wove paper, between 1886 and 1894
Brooklyn Museum

When [Jesus] disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34

A few of the things Jesus has taught me:
– Love my neighbor.
– Forgive those who hurt me.
– Don’t judge myself or others.
– Welcome strangers.
– Notice people and be aware of and attentive to their needs.
– Pray always.

Today I will practice one of the things Jesus has taught me by his word and example.

Be the kindness

Raphael (1483-1520)
Studies of the heads of two apostles and of their hands
black chalk over pounced underdrawing with some white heightening on laid paper
c. 1519 – 1520
Oxford, Ashmolean

Lord, let us see your kindness. Psalm 85:8a

Our smiles and encouragement, compassion and respect, peaceful presence and helping hands allow others to see and know the kindness of the Lord.

Today I will be the kindness of the Lord in all my interactions.

Formed by love

Palestine shepherd
laying the sheep on his shoulders
First World War

See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. 1 John 3a

Each of us is a beloved child of God, created by God’s love for the purpose of sharing God’s love with everyone we encounter.

What prevents me from recognizing myself and others as children of the God of love?

Let’s accept peace

Fritz von Uhde (1848-1911)
Der Gang nach Emmaus
pastel on paper, 1891
Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden

[Jesus] stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you.” Luke 24:36b

Peace is a gift from the Lord.

May I let go of worry, efforts to control others, fear of the future, dissatisfaction with the present, resentment, and blame.

Today may I graciously accept the Lord’s gift of peace.

Peace

Franciszek Smuglewicz (1745 – 1807)
Doubting Thomas
oil on canvas, ca.1800
Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.”
John 20:21a

Jesus repeats it to be sure we get the message: “Peace be with you.”

This is the Lord of peace and reconciliation, the Lord of forgiveness and compassion, the Lord of comfort and mercy.

Lord, fill me with your peace and compassion today.

Hope

Caravaggio
Mary Magdalene Grieving
oil on canvas, between 1605 and1606

On the first day of the week, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. John 20:1

She probably couldn’t sleep from grief. She got up at the first possible moment and went to care for the body of Jesus. And he was gone.

When did she let go of the fear that someone had snatched his body and begin to hope he had risen from the dead?

Lord, help me to choose hope over fear. Let me rejoice in the gifts of today.

The last words

Chapelle Dévôt-Christ
at Perpignan Cathedral
14th century crucifix

Having bought a linen cloth, [Joseph of Aramathea] took [Jesus] down, wrapped him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb. Mark 15:46

The story of Jesus’ Passion is deeply distressing with its matter-of-fact narration of the human experiences of rejection, betrayal, abandonment, injustice, cruelty, mockery, bullying, abuse, pain, and suffering.

And yet… and yet it ends with caring and tenderness as Joseph of Aramathea removes Jesus’ body from the cross, wraps it gently in fine linen, and lays it to rest.

It seems to me that compassion and kindness will always be the last words in our human story.

Lord, help me to reach out with your tender care to those who are suffering and in need.

Dying to live

Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)
Field of Wheat with Cypresses
oil on canvas, 1889
Metropolitan Museum of Art

[Jesus answered them,] “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit.” John 12:24

God has planted the seed of unconditional love in my heart.

May I let the hard shell of resentment, indifference, selfishness, and prejudice that surrounds this precious seed of love die.

I want to do God’s will and produce the living fruit of God’s love in our fragile world.

God so loves us

 

For God so loved the world… John 3:16a

God reveals himself in the person of Jesus from whom we learn God is compassion, healing, forgiveness, service to the poor and vulnerable, the shunned and abandoned.

May I also be a revelation of God’s love in the world.

The wisdom to trust

Benvenuto Tisi (1481-1559)
Christ Driving the Money Changers from the Temple
between circa 1540 and circa 1550
National Galleries of Scotland

For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom,
and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
1 Corinthians 1:25

Today I am feeling small and fragile. I will ask God for the wisdom to lean on the Lord’s gentle strength and trust that everything I need today will be provided.