Today's Gospel in Art - Take up your cross and follow me

  • Patrick van der Vorst

Love, 2010, by Larry Cole © Larry Cole Art

Love, 2010, by Larry Cole © Larry Cole Art

Gospel of 21st February 2020 - Mark 8:34-9:1

Jesus called the people and his disciples to him and said: 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. What gain, then, is it for a man to win the whole world and ruin his life? And indeed what can a man offer in exchange for his life? For if anyone in this adulterous and sinful generation is ashamed of me and of my words, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.' And he said to them, 'I tell you solemnly, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.'

Reflection on the Painting

In today's reading Christ is asking us to pick up our crosses and follow Him. The cross is indeed THE ultimate symbol of Christianity, widely inspiring artists and craftsmen through the ages. Today's artwork, by American contemporary artist Larry Cole, shows a rather unusual depiction of such a cross. The young man below is not just carrying a cross, he is actually inside the cross, fully part of the cross… literally submerged by the cross. The risen Christ is reaching out to lift the young man. One nail of Christ's crucifixion is visible to the right. Christ Himself is held by the hand of His Father…

In our reading, Christ is telling us to renounce ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. By asking us to renounce ourselves, He doesn't mean that we have to deny what or who we are. He is not asking us to deny our basic humanity or personality. What He is saying, though, is that if we are to follow Jesus, we are no longer in charge of our own lives. Christ is in charge. He has the ultimate rights, vision and purpose for your life and mine…


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Tags: Christian Art Today, Patrick van der Vorst, Larry Cole

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