Gospel in art: Your light must shine in the sight of men


The Pancake Bakery, by Pieter Aertsen 1560 © Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam

Source: Christian art

Gospel of March 1, 2022 – Matthew 5:13-16

Jesus told his disciples, “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt becomes tasteless, what can make it salty again? She is good for nothing and can only be thrown away to be trampled on by men.

‘You are the light of the world. A city built on top of a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp to put it under a tub; they put it on the candlestick where it shines for everyone in the house. In the same way your light must shine in the sight of menso that, seeing your good works, they may praise your Father who is in heaven.

Reflection on painting

Today is Shrove Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Shrove Tuesday, Carnival, Carnevale… whatever we want to call it. It is the eve of Ash Wednesday. Our Gospel reading of Matthew reminds us, before we begin Lent, how our light “should shine in the sight of men.” Light is mentioned in today’s reading, and across Lent, at Easter. Light is central during the Easter Vigil. Lent list between two light readings.

Today is the last day we indulge in the food or things we plan to sacrifice for the next forty days of Lent. This is why the word carnival for today is a good word to use, as it derives from Latin words carnem levare, meaning ‘remove the flesh’. It is therefore a day when one gets rid of the things of the flesh to prepare oneself spiritually for Lent. While it was meant to be a day to already enter a state of soul reflection, over the years Mardi Gras has become a day to enjoy the things of the world for one last day before the forty days of Lent. . The Church tried to restore the penitential nature of that time already in 1748. Pope Benedict XIV instituted the “forty hours of carnival”, during which prayers were offered and the Blessed Sacrament was displayed in churches churches during the three days preceding Ash Wednesday. His letter titled “Super Bacchanal’ granted a plenary indulgence to all who adored the Blessed Sacrament exposed on that day.

Our painting by Pieter Aertsen shows how many of us can celebrate today by making pancakes. Folk tradition has it that people used to make pancakes on Shrove Tuesday as a good way to use up any leftover eggs, milk and butter (all animal products) which would be banned during Lent in some countries. So if you’re making pancakes tonight, enjoy!


Today’s story – https://christian.art/en/daily-gospel-reading/1099
Christian art – www.christian.art

Key words: Christian art, Patrick van der Vorst, Pieter Aertsen

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