In a Church,
Painted by Alexei Danilovich Kivshenko (1851-1895),
Painted in 1881,
Oil on canvas
© Sotheby’s London, 2 June 2015, lot 36, sold £35,000

In a Church,
Painted by Alexei Danilovich Kivshenko (1851-1895),
Painted in 1881,
Oil on canvas
© Sotheby’s London, 2 June 2015, lot 36, sold £35,000

Gospel of 14 April 2024

Jesus said ‘Peace be with you!’

Luke 24:35-48

The disciples told their story of what had happened on the road and how they had recognised Jesus at the breaking of bread.

They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you!’ In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, ‘Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.’ And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.

Then he told them, ‘This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms has to be fulfilled.’ He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, ‘So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.’

Reflection on the painting

In our Gospel reading we hear how the disciples share the story of what happened on the road to Emmaus. Then suddenly, Jesus appears to them again. The first words Jesus says are 'Peace be with you!' This is what he says most often when he appears after the Resurrection. Jesus wouldn't say these words over and over again if they didn't have a deep significance.

Firstly Jesus said these words to calm the disciples who were in a state of alarm and fright upon seeing Jesus again. But Jesus meant something far deeper than just a mere call to calm down. Remember, the disciples had largely abandoned Jesus during his Passion. So when Jesus says 'Peace be with you', it shows he has forgiven them, and that they and Jesus now must move on and work together to bring the Good News to the world. It is this peace, and the forgiveness it holds, that will make them preach to all the nations.

These are the same words we use at mass too, 'Peace be with you'. When we attend mass, we all come with our worries and troubles, and so when the priest says 'Peace be with you', the priest is saying in persona Christi that it is ok that we are there with our restless hearts, but we must now fully trust Jesus and place everything in his hands during mass. This is also what we tell each other when we exchange the sign of peace. It is an exchange of commitment to our faith and the bond that we share.

Our painting by Russian artist Alexei Kivshenko was painted in 1881. It simply depicts people sitting in church. A father, grandmother and son are on the front bench. At some stage they will exchange with each other the words 'Peace be with you', uniting themselves to all the other people depicted in church. Our faith is a communal faith.

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Thimas@
Member
Thimas@
1 month ago

It is quite clear what is going on here. The small boy is dreaming about his lunch, and the man three rows back has just spotted his ex-wife on the left-hand side in the second pew. The rest are looking fed up because church services and those days used to be quite long! Good to see the men women sitting together though 😄

Rosemary Hart
Member
Rosemary Hart
1 month ago

The peace is one of my favourite moments of the communion service, when I walk up the aisle from my seat near the front and greet as many people as possible. exchanging heartfelt smiles as well as touching hands….

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Rosemary Hart

Very effusive! I’d love to see you doing that in our church!!

Marcus
Member
Marcus
1 month ago
Reply to  Rosemary Hart

I don’t get to church very often (church is over two hours away from where I live) but when I do go I dislike the peace. People shake my hand and say the words but are looking around for the people they really want to speak to as they do so. Not even eye contact. Most times when I go to church I leave even more lonely than when I arrived. And yet, just being in church for a service is a beautiful experience.

Silvia Moiron
Member
Silvia Moiron
1 month ago

Los desgastados zapatos del padre me producen mucha ternura, y me recuerdan a los zapatos de mi querido Santo Cura de Ars, que el Padre Patricio mostró, hace ya un tiempo atrás, en una foto de su dormitorio.👞

Last edited 1 month ago by Silvia Moiron
Silvia Moiron
Member
Silvia Moiron
1 month ago

Bendecido domingo🌾🙏🕯

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
1 month ago

Peace be with you Janey M.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

Just back from our trip to Sicily. Last Sunday was Mass in a baroque cathedral in Noto, Eastern Sicily, this Sunday back to good old South London!
The wonders of modern air transport….
We were surrounded by a large group of vegan yoga travellers who had been on a ‘retreat’ in Sicily. “Have you any in flight snacks suitable for vegans?! You see we’re all vegans.” Why didn’t you bring some nuts I kept thinking – Lol!

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Ahhhhh and how ‘nutty’ we all are Chazbo (grin).

I often like to delight in zeal and community by which other groups of ‘believers’, gather and celebrate their – sometimes seemingly silly – beliefs. And I realize, we as humans have such a need in our hearts to BELIEVE. To convince ourselves and others: “this makes life worth living, IS, what I live for, what gives me life, identity and love”.

I wonder about us ‘Catholics-Eucharistic Believers’, what MUST seem to the rest of the world – and some 70 % of Catholics it turns out – a very nutty belief indeed: ‘a fellow rose from the dead, some 2000 years ago and you think he dwells IN your person, now – bodily spiritually and divinely?! … my, my,.. my’.

The view that Mr Alexei Danilovich Kivshenko offers us today is what pastors, priests, lectors and altar servers are faced with daily from the altar. Of the lot, it is the little chap on the far left that remotely convinces of a, ’Joy so great that his belief, yet still unjaded and his senses delightfully dumbfounded, is able to regard the supra-REAL that is set plainly before him, and fully feed his little life upon’.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

I know a few in the yoga ‘fraternity/sorority’ and it seems to usually revolve around ‘self’ and to be led by a woman who is usually thinner and more beautiful than all her acolytes.
Did I just say that ??!!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago

The folk in the painting don’t appear to have a lot of inner peace…though the youth is uplifted by whatevers being said from the pulpit..maybe even ‘Peace be with you?’
It is always Jesus first greeting after the Resurrection. Maybe He means ‘you can be at peace now -all sins are forgiven – I have paid the price.’

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
1 month ago

I love the painting, and the faces that exhibit various levels of peace. Something catches the eyes of the man in the 3rd row. Man with the big hair in the second row looks sleepy after a hard night. I cannot make out the blurry shape floating in front of the confessional, just to the right of the statue on the wall. Am I imagining something? Love the texture of the stiff wooden pews and the few flourishes of red.

Lord Jesus, thank you for Father Patrick and the CA community; you all open the scriptures to me.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mark Crain
Carol Heise
Member
Carol Heise
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Dear Mark…the shadowy figure just to the right of the confessional, carrying the staff is Christ. He is watching over his flock. I hesitate to say this, but I will. I once saw Christ in a Baptist church. He stepped down from the pulpit and walked down the middle aisle, holding his staff in His left hand as he went.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Carol Heise

Was he heading over to the Catholic Church?!! Lol!
I’m in that sort of a mood today 🙂

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
1 month ago
Reply to  Carol Heise

Dear Carol, I am glad you feel safe in sharing your religious experiences, and I hope Chazbo’s reply does not change that. Thank you.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

😔

Carol Heise
Member
Carol Heise
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

It’s OK, Mr. Chazbo…I take no offense by your remark. I only wanted to say in reply that God is in all churches where people gather together to worship Him. Before I converted, I went to this Baptist church for a while. Brother Don, our pastor, baptized me there.
It was like being dipped in magic waters. Unfortunately, some really mean spirited members tried very hard to get rid of him. I guess
it worked; he died of a heart attack during the struggle. Please don’t get me wrong: you are not mean spirited by any stretch. God bless you.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Carol Heise

Isn’t it terrible when congregations take against the pastor/priest/vicar etc? Talk about being unchristian…. I always say to our parish priests, and I have seen four of them now in our Catholic Church in south London, that I think you have the most difficult job in the world. Our last one said that it can be difficult but that it is also a privilege to be allowed into people’s lives and to try and be of some help.
All the men that have come to help us along the way to finding God have been good people, and intelligent, which was not the case when I was young. They need help and encouragement.

Carol Heise
Member
Carol Heise
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Thank you very much, Mark.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Carol Heise

Thank you for not being offended. I love the American show ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ with Larry David. Do you think it funny Carol? I guess that he is my inspration!

Carol Heise
Member
Carol Heise
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

I don’t know, Chazbo. I only watch EWTN, baseball, football and some old movies I like. Oh, it did watch Downton Abbey, but I did not like Poldark.

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Yes, I find it strange as well.

Rya Lucas
Member
Rya Lucas
1 month ago

Your memories are valuable. Thanks for sharing! I did not even know my Grandmothers; they died during WW II when I was a little child. Sometimes I talk to them and I always pray for them and all my nearest and dearest who passed away… sometimes that gives me peace.
I like the painting… the people have the same respectful faces as the people I see on TV during the ‘Mass on Sunday’.
Peace of Christ for all members of the CA-family.

Monica Doyle
Member
Monica Doyle
1 month ago

I will share the Sign Of Peace with all of Fr.Patrick’s readers this morning at Mass…To be aware of this gift he is giving us is huge! Thank You, Lord!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Monica Doyle

Thanks Monica. A visiting priest today left out the Sign of Peace so I’m happy to share it with you and everyone else on CA.
Peace and prayers to two regular commentators on CA – SFG and Noelle who are currently on ‘sabatical’.

Rosemary Hart
Member
Rosemary Hart
1 month ago
Reply to  Monica Doyle

Thank you. Monica! Peace be with you!

ROGER EVANS
Member
ROGER EVANS
1 month ago

A painting by a Russian but not, clearly, of a Russian Orthodox church, since they have no seats for the congregation. It also has statues, which are forbidden in Orthodoxy.

Last edited 1 month ago by ROGER EVANS
Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  ROGER EVANS

Doesn’t look C of E either although the congregation could easily be English. I would guess a French church?

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