Mosaic of The Good Shepherd,
Mausoleo di Galla Placidia,
Ravenna, Italy,
Executed circa 425AD
© Alamy / Christian Art

Mosaic of The Good Shepherd,
Mausoleo di Galla Placidia,
Ravenna, Italy,
Executed circa 425AD
© Alamy / Christian Art

Gospel of 8 May 2022

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice

John 10:27-30

Jesus said:

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;

I know them and they follow me.

I give them eternal life;

they will never be lost

and no one will ever steal them from me.

The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,

and no one can steal from the Father.

The Father and I are one.’

Reflection on the Mosaics

Staying with early Christian art (after yesterday’s second- century fresco), we are looking at a mosaic dating to around 425AD that sits over the entrance to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. It depicts the Good Shepherd, the topic of our Gospel reading today.

We see a young, beardless Christ, depicted as a shepherd watching over his sheep in a relaxed pose. He is wearing a robe of vibrant gold and purple tonalities. These colours commonly represent those of imperial status and royalty. Jesus is twisting his body to comfort a young sheep near him. The shepherd’s staff is in the form of a golden crucifix, signifying Christ’s victory over death. We see on the left four rivers (Pishon, the Gihon, the Tigris and the Euphrates, Gen 2:10-14) emanating from some mountainous rocks.

Jesus says in today’s reading, ‘The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice’. But there is exactly the problem: we don’t always listen to his voice. We get distracted and we are not always open to listen. Listening requires effort. We are asked to read the Gospels, read them again, and reflect on the words, let them sink in, read again, ponder…  so that little by little the Word of God may sink in and enable us to hear Christ’s voice loud and clear.

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Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
4 months ago

How true… we hear, but that’s different to listening.

Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
4 months ago

I would love to see all that mosaic art in Ravenna. Very different to the Renaissance old masters. Obvs!

Readings related to John 10:27-30

12 May 2019

John 10: 27-30

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice

3 April 2020

John 10:31-42

They accused Jesus of blasphemy

25 April 2021

John 10:11-18

Jesus said: ‘I am the good shepherd'

26 April 2021

John 10:1-10

I am the gate

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