Today’s Gospel in Art – We should like to see a sign from you | ICN – Independent Catholic News


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The Art of Deception  © Saatchi Art / Isaac Monté

The Art of Deception © Saatchi Art / Isaac Monté

Source: Christian Art

Gospel of 19th July 2021 - Matthew 12: 38-42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees spoke up. 'Master,' they said 'we should like to see a sign from you.' He replied, 'It is an evil and unfaithful generation that asks for a sign! The only sign it will be given is the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was in the belly of the sea-monster for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. On Judgement day the men of Nineveh will stand up with this generation and condemn it, because when Jonah preached they repented; and there is something greater than Jonah here. On Judgement day the Queen of the South will rise up with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and there is something greater than Solomon here.'

Reflection on the Sculpture

Someone told me years ago 'Asking for a sign indicates a lack of faith.' I do think that is a wrong statement, as there are often signs around us which drive us to take certain decisions. Also asking for a sign is a type of prayer which is valid; however, we may not be given the signs that we ask for. God has given signs at times throughout history. For example to Noah: "I set My bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth" (Genesis 9: 13). Or to Moses: "And He said, "Certainly I will be with you, and this shall be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God at this mountain" (Exodus 3: 12). Even with Jesus, all His miracles and ministry were as sign of who He truly was. So signs are good and important. However what Jesus is warning against today is depending on signs, rather than depending on God. An over-reliance on signs or an over-longing for signs is dangerous. People who want a sign from God as a proof of what they should do, do not understand the true nature of faith.

The Pharisees and the Scribes had been seeing so many signs and proofs of who Jesus was (the healings, the teaching ministry, the miracles,…) and yet they wanted more signs and more proof. They were hard-hearted and no sign would ever reach their hearts. That is probably the essence of the matter. Their hearts were turned into stone. Even Jesus' Crucifixion and Resurrection still didn't convince them. So the issue lay in their hearts, not in the abundant signs that God sent them.

Our sculpture by Dutch artist Isaac Monté, is literally a heart of stone. Even though the gold veins try to embellish the heart… it remain at its essence hard.


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Tags: Christian Art, Patrick van der Vorst, Isaac Monté

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