Flying Dandelion Seeds,
Painted by Ona Lodge,
Painted in 2019,
Gouache and watercolour on paper
© Ona Lodge Artist
Jesus addressed the lawyers and Pharisees
Now on a sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. There in front of him was a man with dropsy, and Jesus addressed the lawyers and Pharisees. ‘Is it against the law’ he asked ‘to cure a man on the sabbath, or not?’ But they remained silent, so he took the man and cured him and sent him away. Then he said to them, ‘Which of you here, if his son falls into a well, or his ox, will not pull him out on a sabbath day without hesitation?’ And to this they could find no answer.
Reflection on the watercolour
It can be upsetting to us when people who are important in our lives do not share our faith. Parents, in particular, can be very upset when the faith which means so much to them seems to mean so little to their children. They wonder if there is more they could have done to pass on the faith to them. Whilst it is entirely understandable that they are upset, self-blame serves no purpose in that situation. Jesus also struggled at times to hand over the faith to people who were close to him. Even he could not force anyone to believe! Gifted preacher that he was, he was helpless before the refusal of his own flesh and blood to believe in his Word. The experts in the Jewish and Pharisees in our Gospel reading refused to believe in what Jesus was saying.
In spite of his frustration with them, Jesus simply continued to witness to God’s powerful presence through his day to day ministry. Saint Paul did exactly the same. Any resistance he met, he simply continued his path, nurturing his own relationship with God. We too can be faithful only to our own calling to treasure the gift of faith we have received and to bear witness to it, even when that faith is not shared by those who are significant for us. At the end of the day, we can take responsibility only for our own faith. But also, we have to realise that through our own faith and witness, we may well touch the lives of others, even people who are not close to us. We never know where the seeds of our witness will fall and grow.
When dandelion seeds fly, they don’t know where they will land: perhaps far from the original flower. So it goes with our faith. The seeds of our witnessing may have flown far away but have taken root in someone and brought them to the faith. That is what we pray for today. Our watercolour on paper is by Dutch amateur artist Ona Lodge. It displays a myriad of differently coloured seeds flying through the night skies.
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