Painting by Martin Whatson (born 1984),
Published in 2018,
Silkscreen on paper
© Christian Art
Happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!
As Jesus was speaking, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said, 'Happy the womb that bore you and the breasts you sucked!' But he replied, 'Still happier those who hear the word of God and keep it!'
Reflection on the Graffiti Street Artwork
This is a lovely, short passage where we hear of a woman appreciating what Jesus has said and praising His mother. Jesus builds on her comments and says that 'appreciating God's words' is not enough: it has to be followed by action. Do what Jesus did, rather than just applaud what He did.
We live in a culture nowadays, especially through the press and social media, where we just click 'Like' for something we have seen or we 'Follow' people for what they say. If this level of superficial liking is too much engrained in us, then we are at risk of missing the deeper point that Jesus is making today. He warns us of being too caught up in positive admiration, rather than in positive action.
Our Norwegian street and stencil artist, Martin Whatson, illustrates beautifully how we are all hooked on our phones and social media. We see a greyscale composition silhouette of a young man (the artist himself) staring at his phone while an explosive collage of abstract graffiti and social media icons is being sucked into his hoodie. The graffiti scripts enhance that feeling of vandalisation that is being done to the man's mind… And that is exactly what Jesus is asking us today: how much of my time do I spend on what is insignificant, and how much of it is spent on what is significant?
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Readings related to Luke 11:27-28
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