May we be filled with Easter joy! May we be moved to praise and expressions of gratitude for so great a gift! May we always keep our eyes fixed upon Jesus! May we find the presence of Jesus in others so that as we fight against the temptation to fixate on self, we might find Him through our service of others! May we continue to find guidance in the words of Jesus as found in the gospels, and on His presence to us in our prayer! And may we continue to grow into the people God created us to be: Easter people! Let us meet at the empty tomb of Christ, saying with the holy ones, “He is Risen! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!” Peace!
©Michele L. Catanese
Note: Next post will be May 6.
1. Christ in Limbo, (circa 1450, cell 31 of the cloister, Museo di San Marco, Florence, Italy) painted by Blessed Fra Angelico (circa 1450): I chose this painting because of all the imagery it contains. In busting down the door of Sheol, (the place of the dead) Jesus has crushed the devil who symbolically lies beneath it. However, there are still some demons lurking in the left side corner who are too frightened to come near. I wonder if the face peering out with those demons is that of Judas who chose death over life, (perhaps a point to ponder.) The holy ones who have waited so long are now being freed to enter into Heaven with Jesus. (See Matthew 27:51-53)
2. Sunrise Over the Red Sea: I chose this photo (not one of mine!) because of the magnificence of it, but also because it is a sunrise over similar waters as those on which Peter attempted to walk. He was on the Sea of Galilee, but after he focused on himself instead of Jesus, the waters no doubt seemed to him as if they were similarly roiling.
3. This is one of my photos, a black and white rendering of a pathway at Lost Maples Natural area in the hill country of Texas. I decided to go with the black and white version of my original color photo for the contrast between the path of redemption chosen by Peter with the bleak path chosen by Judas. There is a path on the left, and a dry creek bank on the right. Judas did not choose the correct path, and so he perished.
4. The Risen Jesus, icon written by Fr. William Hart McNichols: I have always loved this icon of Jesus surrounded by light, hands raised in a blessing of peace. Even though the subjects never smile in icons, (since they are not meant to be like portraits) I can still see the love and joy in His eyes, and perhaps the hint of a smile in His expression: this icon does 'spark joy.' If you would like to purchase a copy you can find this icon at https://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-risen-christ-014-william-hart-mcnichols.html
5. Red, Mark Rothko: This painting speaks to me of resurrection and the dawn of a new day. It is as if the gold light is bursting at the seams of the red; the red hue cannot hold it in, just as death cannot hold Jesus within its grasp.
6. Resurrection, a panel of the Isenheim Altarpiece, by Matthias Grünewald (1510-15): This is my favorite resurrection painting. There is no other image (in my opinion) which captures the light of Christ like this one. The Risen Jesus is aglow with light, reminiscent of and greater than, that of the Transfiguration. He is pushing back the darkness, in complete victory. His face is dazzling. Alleluia!
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