Today’s Gospel in Art – Jesus sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God | ICN – Independent Catholic News


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Two minds but a single thought, 1913 © Chronicle  Alamy Stock Photo

Two minds but a single thought, 1913 © Chronicle Alamy Stock Photo

Source: Christian Art

Gospel of 22nd September 2021 - Luke 9:1-6

Jesus called the Twelve together and gave them power and authority over all devils and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, 'Take nothing for the journey: neither staff, nor haversack, nor bread, nor money; and let none of you take a spare tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there; and when you leave, let it be from there. As for those who do not welcome you, when you leave their town shake the dust from your feet as a sign to them.' So they set out and went from village to village proclaiming the Good News and healing everywhere.

Reflection on the Print

Swiss Theologian Heinrich Emil Brunner said that 'The Church exists by mission, just as a fire exists by burning.' It is a good image to hold, as indeed a stack of wood isn't a fire if there are no flames. However many branches and logs there may be, if there are no flames, then there isn't a fire. However many of us Christians gather together, there is no Church if there is no mission. That is what today's reading is teaching us: Jesus did not simply gather His Twelve Apostles and other disciples around Him to have a good time, to chat, to feel comfortable: He gathered them so he could send them out on mission. The mission is what bound them together and gave them purpose.

That mission consisted of setting people free physically ('cure diseases') and setting people free spiritually ('gave them power and authority over all devils'). These are still the two aspects of living our faith: helping people physically by, for example, providing help for the sick or feeding the homeless; and feeding ourselves and those around us spiritually by praying and celebrating Mass together. To stick to the aforementioned image of fire: the flame in our wood can only be ignited if we let the flame come near us. Also, if there is too much wind, the flame will die out very soon. If we allow Jesus to light a fire under us, then each time we pray we feed that flame. And when we gather on Sundays in Church, our individual fires can truly become a bonfire giving out light and heat for those around us.

In our print from 1913 we see a courting couple gazing into a blazing log fire, imagining their wedding day. The flames and fire that they nurture show their joint mission….


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Tags: Christian Art, Patrick van der Vorst

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