©Michele L. Catanese
* This translation comes from the New Jerusalem Bible. While it is not the one used for our Sunday readings, I have always loved it because it captures the spirit of Jesus’ love for the leper. It depicts the immense love Jesus has for all men and women and also His desire that we all be whole.
Note: Next post February 26
1. This is a photo I took of a stained glass window inside St. Patrick's in Auckland, New Zealand. I chose to use it here because it seems like these disciples are looking upward to Heaven for guidance. At the beginning of Lent we are often beginning the same process of discerning what help we might need and what goals we might be hoping to attain in the season of Lent.
2. I chose this close-up of Jesus painted by Fra Angelico because the expression on Jesus' face is what I envision when I reflect upon the gospel passage of the bold leper. As Jesus says "Of course I want to!" to him I imagine a look of compassion and love such as this one.
3. I took this photo on a hilltop while we were driving outside of Auckland. NZ. The fronds on this tree had a bright yellow hue and though I had seen a number of these amazing hemlock type trees, this one really caught my eye. I chose to use it here because the little tree seems to have boldness in "approaching" the larger tree, such as that of the leper who boldly approached Jesus, the Lord.
4. I took this photo in Kaikoura, NZ (on the eastern shore of the South Island) after a short rain shower. This photo has not been tampered with, and in fact the photo does not totally capture the luminescence of the rainbow as seen with the naked eye! I had never before seen a rainbow that stood nearly straight up, nor have I seen one glow as this one does. It was an amazing sight. I wanted to use it here because it made me think of the 'glow' which comes from the joy of the new life we might receive after an encounter with Jesus in our prayer.
5. This icon is called Christ All Merciful by Fr. William Hart McNichols. It seemed appropriate to feature it here because Jesus is merciful not just to the healed leper, but also to each one of us. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, it can be found at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/christ-all-merciful-022-william-hart-mcnichols.html
6. The next three photos are mine. This one was taken on a glacial river near Glenorchy, NZ (South Island), just north of Queenstown. It was one of the many incredibly moving, beautiful places we visited. We were in a jet boat (at this point, stopped) when the photo was taken. I chose to use it here simply because it shows the beauty of creation.
7. My husband and I gathered these rocks from among many on a beach called Gemstone Beach on the coast just northwest of Invercargill, New Zealand. The different colored rocks are found all over the beach and there are said to be semiprecious gemstones among them. To us, they were all beautiful and so we made the little grouping in order to have a memory of the ones we found that were most appealing to us. So that others might enjoy God's handiwork, one does not take a stone away from this place, so we only took away our photo as a keepsake. I chose this photo because it reminded me that God gives so many wonderful gifts to us, varied and unique. These stones moved me to gratitude.
8. Finally, this shot was taken on the road to Glenorchy, mentioned above. The driver of the van we were in stopped for what he called the most spectacular view of the Aspiring Mountains. Yes, I took that photo, but then I turned the opposite direction and saw this wonderful vista. This is Lake Wakatipu, a huge lake at the south end of which is Queenstown. (We were headed north.) I chose to use it here simply because the view was so striking.