Today’s Gospel in Art – Jesus went into the Synagogue as He usually did – Independent Catholic News

Posted By on August 31, 2020

Sunday Church Goers in a Boat, by Carl Wilhelmson 1909 National Museum, Stockholm

Gospel of 31st August 2020 - Luke 4:16-30Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as he usually did. He stood up to read and they handed him the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll he found the place where it is written:

The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, for he has anointed me. He has sent me to bring the good news to the poor, to proclaim liberty to captives and to the blind new sight, to set the downtrodden free, to proclaim the Lord's year of favour.

He then rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the assistant and sat down. And all eyes in the synagogue were fixed on him. Then he began to speak to them, 'This text is being fulfilled today even as you listen.' And he won the approval of all, and they were astonished by the gracious words that came from his lips. They said, 'This is Joseph's son, surely?'

But he replied, 'No doubt you will quote me the saying, "Physician, heal yourself" and tell me, "We have heard all that happened in Capernaum, do the same here in your own countryside."'

And he went on, 'I tell you solemnly, no prophet is ever accepted in his own country.

'There were many widows in Israel, I can assure you, in Elijah's day, when heaven remained shut for three years and six months and a great famine raged throughout the land, but Elijah was not sent to any one of these: he was sent to a widow at Zarephath, a Sidonian town. And in the prophet Elisha's time there were many lepers in Israel, but none of these was cured, except the Syrian, Naaman.'

When they heard this everyone in the synagogue was enraged. They sprang to their feet and hustled him out of the town; and they took him up to the brow of the hill their town was built on, intending to throw him down the cliff, but he slipped through the crowd and walked away.

Reflection on the PaintingToday's reading starts with the words 'Jesus went into the synagogue on the sabbath day as He usually did' just like we do on Sundays when we go to Church. Our painting by Carl Wilhelmson is set in his native Bohusln, Sweden. It shows a family (painted with great dignity), part of a the local fishing community, crossing the water to get to church, probably 'as they usually did' on a Sunday. The bright, vibrant colours and the attention to detail (see for example the reflections of the boat and textiles in the water) make for a beautiful painting.

Particularly the words in today's reading struck me: 'as Jesus usually did'. He was a man of habits and so today's reading invites us to participate in Jesus' habits. It is something we can easily participate in by simply emulating regularity in worship and prayer. If we emulate Jesus' habits, then we shall start to resemble Him and grow closer to Him. Christ is the person we should ultimately seek to emulate in all the things we do, think or say.

So what is a habit? The Oxford Dictionary defines a habit as follows: 'a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up'. Whilst we can learn a lot from what Jesus taught His disciples and us, we can learn even more from practising what He actually did and devote ourselves to emulate Jesus' habits...


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Tags: Christian Art, Patrick van der Vorst, Carl Wilhelmson

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Today's Gospel in Art - Jesus went into the Synagogue as He usually did - Independent Catholic News

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