Painted by Abraham Hunter (born 1994),
Oil on canvas,
Painted in 2017
© Abraham Hunter Art

Painted by Abraham Hunter (born 1994),
Oil on canvas,
Painted in 2017
© Abraham Hunter Art

Gospel of 28 August 2022

Everyone who humbles himself will be exalted

Luke 14:1,7-14

On a sabbath day Jesus had gone for a meal to the house of one of the leading Pharisees; and they watched him closely. He then told the guests a parable, because he had noticed how they picked the places of honour. He said this, ‘When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take your seat in the place of honour. A more distinguished person than you may have been invited, and the person who invited you both may come and say, “Give up your place to this man.” And then, to your embarrassment, you would have to go and take the lowest place. No; when you are a guest, make your way to the lowest place and sit there, so that, when your host comes, he may say, “My friend, move up higher.” In that way, everyone with you at the table will see you honoured. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted.’

Then he said to his host, ‘When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbours, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting you in return. No; when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.’

Reflection on the painting

Most of the Gospel readings of this past week were about humility, as is today's reading. In our painting, we see a strong, confident, kingly lion looking up to a light shining down from heaven. We can see the lion waiting to carry out the next command he may receive from his master. The artist, Abraham Hunter, is a contemporary Christian artist who uses depictions of animals to convey a Christian message. I personally have come across very few wildlife artists who would use their skill in the service of evangelisation. The artist says: "When someone looks at my paintings, I want them to feel as if they are right there witnessing first hand what the scene is depicting. I want them to feel the peace, comfort and joy that I experience when I'm studying the outdoors. I also want it to be a time for them to reflect on the beauty of God's many blessings that seem to go mostly unnoticed in our busy world."

The background is reminiscent of the Garden of Gethsemane. Like the lion depicted here, Jesus was also strong, kingly and all-powerful in accepting His fate and His Passion. In our friendship with Him we join in His strength and promise. But at the same time we are called to be humble in our acceptance of God's will. The painting is titled 'Humility' and conveys this balance we are called upon: being humble yet be strong as lions when we proclaim the Word.

The Bible refers to Christ symbolically as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5). The lion represents His power, majesty, and everlasting reign. The image of a lion also reminds us of the lion in the oeuvre of C.S. Lewis, where Aslan the lion has many parallels to Jesus: very powerful, yet humble.

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Charles Marriott
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
30 days ago

Power and humility.An unusual and rare combination to be found in a human. I suppose what we hope for in a parent?

Jo Siedlecka
Jo Siedlecka(@jo-siedlecka)
1 month ago

What a beautiful painting!

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