Today's Gospel in Art - Happy are you who are poor, who are hungry, who weep

  • Patrick van der Vorst

Drawing Hands by Maurits Cornelis Escher 1948 © The MC Escher Company

Drawing Hands by Maurits Cornelis Escher 1948 © The MC Escher Company

Gospel of 9th September 2020 - Luke 6:20-26

Fixing his eyes on his disciples Jesus said:

'How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.

Happy you who are hungry now: you shall be satisfied.

Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.

Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.

'But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.

Alas for you who have your fill now: you shall go hungry.

Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.

'Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.'

Reflection on the Pencil Drawing

MC Esher, our artist of the drawing we are looking at today (from 1948), draws these mind challenging works. Here we see a hand drawing another hand, which is drawing the first hand. So which hand is drawing which? The artist challenges us as a viewer. So does Jesus in today's reading challenge us and flip everything upside down regarding what people thought was normal at the time. He shares how things are from God's perspective, and some of what He is saying comes as a shock and yet infuses God's reality in a suffering world. Our Gospel reading today sets out the values and ideals of the Christian Life.

He is asking us to be detached from all that is not of God and that all we do should be at the service of God. Just as the two hands in our artwork are drawing and feeding into each other, so is Jesus asking us that all we do feeds into Christ, and asking us to let Christ feed into all we do. A full circular movement. Each of the Beatitudes in today's reading describe a human state of affairs from which we all have an instinct to move away: poverty, hunger, sadness… Yet Jesus proclaims them as states of blessing, as they can draw us into the deeper values of life… and those values will draw us in to the eternal life.


Today's story -

Christian Art -

Tags: Christian Art, Patrick van der Vorst, Escher

We Need Your Support

ICN aims to provide speedy and accurate news coverage of all subjects of interest to Catholics and the wider Christian community. As our audience increases - so do our costs. We need your help to continue this work.

Please support our journalism by donating today.