Today's Gospel in Art - The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea


Il Disinganno (Release from Deception), Sculpture in marble,  by Francesco Queirolo 1753  ©  Christian Art, Capella Sansevero, Naples

Il Disinganno (Release from Deception), Sculpture in marble, by Francesco Queirolo 1753 © Christian Art, Capella Sansevero, Naples

Gospel of 30th July 2020 - Matthew 13:47-53

Jesus said to the crowds: 'The kingdom of heaven is like a dragnet cast into the sea that brings in a haul of all kinds. When it is full, the fishermen haul it ashore; then, sitting down, they collect the good ones in a basket and throw away those that are no use. This is how it will be at the end of time: the angels will appear and separate the wicked from the just to throw them into the blazing furnace where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.

'Have you understood all this?' They said, 'Yes.' And he said to them, 'Well then, every scribe who becomes a disciple of the kingdom of heaven is like a householder who brings out from his storeroom things both new and old.'

Reflection on the Sculpture Installation

Our stunning sculpture today, called Release from Deception, shows a fisherman being released from a net by an angel. The masterpiece was carved from a single piece of marble (hence I am showing also some detailed photos revealing the intricacy of the sculpted net). The net in our sculpture is symbolic for sin. The man is trying to set himself free from the nets of sin. A little winged angel with a small flame on his forehead (symbol of human intellect), helps the man to free himself from the intricate netting, whilst pointing to the globe at his feet, symbol of worldly passions. The angel is pointing to the man that it is the world which has put the nets around him. Next to the globe is the open book of the Bible. As the Bible is open, so are the nets opened which strangled the man. The virtuoso sculpting work on the net, all carved out of one block of marble, amazed visitors from the mid 18th century to this very day.

The parable in our reading today is very similar to the parable of the wheat and darnel which we looked at over the last few days. It reminds us that the Church can't just include people who are perfect, good and virtuous and exclude the so called 'bad fish' as per today's reading. That would lead to a pretty empty church! No, as God has chosen to be merciful and patient with us sinners, he cast his net around all of us and leaves judgement till we are cast ashore. As God throws his nets of forgiveness towards us, we are often tangled in our own nets of sin… As in our sculpture, we need to try to release ourselves from the nets of sin and swim towards God's nets of mercy…

LINKS

Today's story - https://christian.art/en/daily-gospel-reading/498

Christian Art - www.christian.art


Tags: Christian Art, Patrick van der Vorst, Francesco Queirolo

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