May we embrace our status as lambs of God, rejoicing that we belong to so loving a Shepherd! May we welcome the Holy Spirit into our lives anew! May we learn to discern by listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd and then following His prompting! May we trust that God, our true Shepherd, always has our best interests in mind! May our example lead others to identify themselves as lambs of God, offering their lives to the care of the Shepherd! And at the end of our earthly pilgrimage, may the Lamb of God bring us home with Him in the joy and peace which only He can give! Let us continue to meet in the Heart of Jesus, the Good Shepherd! Alleluia! Peace!
©Michele L. Catanese
Note: Next post June 17.
1. I took this photo of the original painting, Saint John the Baptist, by the Dutch painter Hendrick Bloemaert (1624), while traveling to Scotland recently. The painting hangs in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, a marvelous place in which one can spend a lot of time. This work served as the inspiration for this entry, so it was fitting to begin with it. Not only do I love the youthful portrayal of John, but it shows him pointing to the Lamb of God, who is shown to be Jesus by the rough stick cross he is holding with the Lamb.
2. One of my photos: Hebradean lambs with their mothers. If you look closely at the top right corner, you will notice one of the lambs is drinking from its mother's milk. The lambing season had just ended when we were in Scotland and so lambs were abounding everywhere, (and literally a-bounding, as they are quite playful). Seeing lambs, ewes, and rams everywhere was the secondary inspiration for this entry.
3. The icon El Buen Pastor, written by Fr. William Hart McNichols: I have prayed often with a small copy of this icon, so it is a favorite. It seemed perfect for this spot in the entry because it shows Jesus as the Good Shepherd accompanied by one of His sheep, knocking on the door as an invitation to whoever is within to become one of His flock. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/el-buen-pastor-188-william-hart-mcnichols.html
4. Farmhouse at Nuenen, by Vincent van Gogh (1885). This work is from an earlier period in the development of the distinctive style we identify with the last few years of van Gogh's life. You will notice that there are no sheep in the painting. In fact, the woman seems to be petting her cow, and there is a chicken nearby, but nothing even resembling a sheep. But this painting actually connects to the one which follows: it shows the trust of the cow for its caretaker and it points out that not all are the same in the flock. Our flock is made up of a diverse group, all dependent upon the Shepherd with whom we have a relationship of love. https://fineartamerica.com/featured/6-farmhouse-in-nuenen-vincent-van-gogh.html
5. Day of Pentecost, by Rebecca Brogan. First of all, I loved this painting the moment I stumbled upon it while searching for a Pentecost image. But what truly sold me was that in trying to track down the painter, the link which I found was jtbarts.com. I came to discover that it was an acronym for "John The Baptist Artworks." If that did not give me a sense of confirmation, nothing will! I do love how the Holy Spirit works. Check out Brogan's works at https://jtbarts.com/
6. Another of my photos: Gorse bush with its bright flowers. Gorse are all over Scotland and seem to blanket the hillsides, creating a blaze of yellow. It is just fantastic to see this color everywhere; it speaks to me of joy....perhaps the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
7. This is one of my photos: a couple of wee lambs, as the Scots might say. These little guys were alternating between eating and running, playful as they could be. They seemed appropriate to finish out this entry, as they are a reminder that we grow into spiritual adulthood, but we should remain child-like in our trust in the Shepherd and never lose sight of the joy of being a member of the flock of the Lord.
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