Alexander J. Cassatt and His Son, Robert Kelso Cassatt,
Painted by Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844–1926),
Painted in 1884,
Oil on canvas
© Philadelphia Museum of Art

Alexander J. Cassatt and His Son, Robert Kelso Cassatt,
Painted by Mary Stevenson Cassatt (1844–1926),
Painted in 1884,
Oil on canvas
© Philadelphia Museum of Art

Gospel of 5 December 2023

Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father

Luke 10:21-24

Filled with joy by the Holy Spirit, Jesus said:

‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’

Then turning to his disciples he spoke to them in private, ‘Happy the eyes that see what you see, for I tell you that many prophets and kings wanted to see what you see, and never saw it; to hear what you hear, and never heard it.’

Reflection on the painting

The Evangelist Luke in our Gospel reading of today gives us a beautiful insight into the prayer life of Jesus. Jesus prays out of his unique relationship with God the Father, ‘No one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son’. Yet it is clear from what Jesus goes on to say that this unique relationship is not closed in on itself. Jesus wants to draw people into his relationship with God.

Whilst Jesus wants to draw in everyone, only some people allow themselves to be drawn in. Those who have the openness of a child to the mystery of God will be drawn in. Advent is a time to grow in our closeness to Jesus. We pray to God that he may make all of us a bit more like little children, who acknowledge their own needs and know they need the parent to guide them and love them. Advent is indeed a season to enter into that poverty of spirit which keeps us open to what God wishes to show us.

Our painting by Mary Cassatt shows a portrait of a father and son. In December 1884, Alexander Cassatt and his son Robert paid a surprise visit to Paris to see Alexander’s parents and his sister, the painter Mary Cassatt. During the month-long holiday, father and son sat for this tender double portrait that emphasises their bond and physical resemblance. With similarly focused gazes, flushed cheeks, and black clothing that connects them in an embrace, parent and child are caught in a private moment. We can feel that the child is dependent on his father and open to be taught and loved.

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Anthony
Member
Anthony
2 months ago

In their day, once they were betrothed Joseph and Mary were legally married. The man would go and make a home for them and when it was ready she would go to live him and their married life began together. Mary was found to be pregnant before this and Joseph was not the father, therefore if the father was a human then she, according to the law should have been stoned for adultery. So Joseph decided to quietly divorce her. The angel assured him that she was with child by the power of the Holy Spirit, not man, ergo virginity intact.

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
2 months ago
Reply to  Anthony

It is good enough for me too, Janey M.

Anthony
Member
Anthony
2 months ago

No apogies Janey you are quite right.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
2 months ago

You mustn’t fret, Janey, you are not at fault. The great thing is that so many very interesting and helpful things have been written as a result of the slight contretemps, for which many thanks to all those who have posted numerous things “wise and wonderful.” ❤️‍🔥

Thimas@
Member
Thimas@
2 months ago

I get the message and I will stop leaving comments on the forum. I don’t have the piety of most here.
Do read the book I recommended though even clergy found it worthwhile.

George K
George K
2 months ago
Reply to  Thimas@

Thimas, have you ever considered focusing on what you believe instead of what other people believe?

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
2 months ago

Here are some thoughts I have on your comment, Janey M:

St. Augustine of Hippo said, “miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.”

When I attended college and university, I studied mathematics and sciences……..I have never felt that maths and sciences
were at odds with my Catholic faith…..to me, to argue that science conflicts with religion is like saying poetry and art conflict with science.
I love what Saint Pope John Paul II said: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes. Each can draw the other into a wider world, a world in which both can flourish.”

I believe in God …. I believe God became man, so we can be “partakers of the divine nature”……..
God has communicable attributes such as goodness and love (and of course, incommunicable ones eg. omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence) .
1 John 3:2 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

Through grace, we can participate with God.

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee;
blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Anthony
Member
Anthony
2 months ago

Regarding the virgin birth it might be useful to find the following on Youtube;
Dr. Brant Pitrie ( a brilliant biblical scholar)-Why did Joseph plan on divorcing Mary?
Pints with Aquinas – Tim Staples and William Albrecht.
Catholic Answers – Perpetual virginity of Mary.
Merely Christian , Fr. Mike Schmitz.
There are many more.

Noelle Clemens
Member
Noelle Clemens
2 months ago
Reply to  Anthony

Useful, thanks, Anthony.

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