Visions of Eternity,
Painted by Salvador Dalí (1904-1989),
Painted in 1936-1937,
Oil on canvas
© Alamy / Art Institute of Chicago, USA

Visions of Eternity,
Painted by Salvador Dalí (1904-1989),
Painted in 1936-1937,
Oil on canvas
© Alamy / Art Institute of Chicago, USA

Gospel of 26 November 2022

That day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap

Luke 21:34-36

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘Watch yourselves, or your hearts will be coarsened with debauchery and drunkenness and the cares of life, and that day will be sprung on you suddenly, like a trap. For it will come down on every living man on the face of the earth. Stay awake, praying at all times for the strength to survive all that is going to happen, and to stand with confidence before the Son of Man.’

Reflection on the painting

We come to the end of the liturgical year with a warning in today’s Gospel reading. We don’t know exactly when the Day of the Lord will come and when we will die, but we do know that that day will come when we will face God. So on this last day of the liturgical year the Gospel is telling us that the Lord has already come to some of the people that we know and that we lost over the past year. And during the next liturgical year, starting tomorrow, the Lord will also come to some who are still with us now. So the Gospel warns us that our earthly existence is fragile and only temporary. Therefore we should be more serious about all things eternal, rather than be preoccupied with temporal things.

As the new liturgical year begins tomorrow, it offers us again a full year the chance to get serious about all things eternal. Our painting by Salvador Dalí is titled Visions of Eternity. He painted this dream-like landscape rather empty and void. We see a starkly painted arched portico on the left with a disintegrating figure above. It is a rather depressing view of eternity, largely due to the fact that Dalí painted this during the Spanish Civil War, and times were desperate. Picasso painted his Guernica in the same year, expressing similar feelings of desolation and despair.

The desolation of this nearly featureless landscape gives this composition an overwhelming sense of infinitude. So the infinitude may be well captured here, but not the eternal life which Jesus talks about in our Gospel reading today… That life will be joyous, glorious and ever-lasting.

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mauropablo castrotijerina
Member
mauropablo castrotijerina
1 year ago

Ojalá puedan poner en español la reflexión del cuadro, gracias.

Maria Jose Beriain
Member
Maria Jose Beriain
1 year ago

Me encanta el cuadro y la infinitud…lo refleja muy bien…
Pero como pintar la eternidad…nuestro encuentro con Jesús…!!!
Dice que oremos incesantemente…pues, a por ello…

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 year ago

Did Jesus really say ‘like a trap’? I don’t like the think God sets traps for us, are there any other translations? Maybe I am supposed to feel uneasy though? Hope it isn’t today lol- too much to do, haha!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 year ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Well Grace, I think saying ‘unexpectedly’ would have the same meaning, don’t you think? It’s still sobering.

Oi Lian Kon
Member
Oi Lian Kon
1 year ago

Today’s gospel reading is perhaps both a warning and an encouragement to remain faithful until the Lord’s return.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 year ago

Appreciation of art is subjective. There is no objective definition of great art. There is only a large number of subjective agreements that an art/ist is great e.g. Michelangelo.
Working from that base I do not appreciate Salvador Dali although many do!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 year ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I love Dali- not all his work but he makes you think and often conveys a sense of timelessness and space to me, although Magritte did it better I think.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 year ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

Agree,I like Dali a lot (and Magritte)
I think I could look at today’s painting in a gallery for a good long time.

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