Today’s Gospel in Art – And They Would Not Accept It
Source: Christian art
July 4, 2021 Gospel – Mark 6: 1-6
Jesus went to his hometown and his disciples accompanied him. With the coming of the Sabbath, he began to teach in the synagogue and most of them were amazed to hear him. They said, ‘Where did the man get all of this? What is this wisdom bestowed upon him, and these miracles that are performed through him? It is the carpenter, surely, the son of Marie, the brother of Jacques and Joset and Jude and Simon? Her sisters too, aren’t they here with us? And they wouldn’t accept it. And Jesus said to them: “A prophet is despised only in his own country, among his own parents and in his own house”; and he could not do a miracle there, although he healed some sick by laying his hands on them. He was amazed at their lack of faith.
Reflection on painting
In today’s gospel, Jesus prepares his disciples for potential rejection. Rejection is part of our life. There are so many ways we can feel rejected: not getting the job we want; losing friends for something trivial; falling out with colleagues; not being invited somewhere etc … We have all probably had times of rejection leading to some form of suffering. In today’s reading, we see how Jesus is rejected in his own country, by his own people. And this is where the beauty of our reading lies: he was fully human, so he experienced exactly the same rejection that we sometimes suffer. He was rejected in his homeland, as we read in today’s reading; He was rejected by Judas; He was rejected by Peter when he lied three times; He felt rejected by his very Father when he cried out on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? burdens of rejection with Him.
Over the years, artists have also often felt rejected. Pablo Picasso, Cézanne, Van Gogh, Andy Warhol were initially rejected too… Even whole movements were initially rejected, an example being the Impressionist movement. The very term “impressionism” grew out of a sarcastic critique of a new style of painting, in which artists only put “prints” on a canvas, rather than being able to actually paint. Claude Monet, at the forefront of the movement, struggled for a long time with the feeling of rejection until later in his career, when he had more acceptance and ultimately success. During the first 20 years of his career, Monet struggled to find buyers for his paintings. But the rejection for him served a good purpose: he became stronger, more focused, and more meaningful in what he painted. Rejection made him grow up.
Our painting by Claude Monet sold a little over a month ago for $ 70 million. Hardly the rejection. This series of water lilies is important in the history of art because with these paintings, Monet took the art of painting from Impressionism to the realm of abstraction and modern painting. Look how abstract flowers and leaves are already.
Keywords: Christian art, Patrick van der Vorst, Monet
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