Friday in the Fifth Week of Lent - 2012
The gospel brings us back to a difficult time in the life of Jesus: when some of his hearers wanted to stone him. Why? Because, as they said: "You have said that you are God." Of course these "enemies" were happy with the various miracles performed but not with his "blasphemy."
In our world today perhaps there is not the threat to throw stones. However, "stones" are hurled from vicious tongues because of the actions of some Church leaders and other members of the Catholic Church. Of course, once again, the good works of Jesus are forgotten when there is an abandonment of the Church that Jesus founded and the graces He gives to us through the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
This gospel reminded me of the story of the prodigal son. That led me to Google. When I sought images of the prodigal for this picture, I came upon a painting by the artist Pompeo Batoni, The Return of the Prodigal Son.
How many times have I acted in a manner similar to the son in the painting who allowed emotional and/or other realities to pull him away from his father's house and all the good was there for him. Batoni's painting (1773) clearly portrays a father who had much to offer his some with the finer things of life.
How many times have I turned away from God and his graces, even for a short period of time because of the allurements of people, places or things. These were better than God or his Church which he gave to us as a means to lead us back to him despite the failures of the human beings who lead it or who are members of it.
Help those who have walked away from God to return to him and his love. Let the Holy Spirit open hearts to the loving embrace of Go, my heavenly Father.
NB: I found www.oceansbridge.com as a refreshing gallery of various art works. It was there that I learned more about the Batoni painting. Likewise there is a good virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel that is interesting. You have to do a little searching but it is well worth the effort.