Giant $20 Bill,
Wall Mounted Sculpture by Paul Rousso (born 1958),
Executed in 2014,
Print and plexiglass,
© Paul Rousso Artist
© Story quoted from Pastor Life

Giant $20 Bill,
Wall Mounted Sculpture by Paul Rousso (born 1958),
Executed in 2014,
Print and plexiglass,
© Paul Rousso Artist
© Story quoted from Pastor Life

Gospel of 5 September 2022

The man with the withered hand

Luke 6:6-11

On the sabbath Jesus went into the synagogue and began to teach, and a man was there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees were watching him to see if he would cure a man on the sabbath, hoping to find something to use against him. But he knew their thoughts; and he said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up! Come out into the middle.’ And he came out and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, ‘I put it to you: is it against the law on the sabbath to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to destroy it?’ Then he looked round at them all and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He did so, and his hand was better. But they were furious, and began to discuss the best way of dealing with Jesus.

Reflection on the wall sculpture

Today's Gospel reading talks about the man with the withered hand. He was an outcast, looked down upon by his fellow beings. If I may share a simple story with you today: There was a certain speaker who began his seminar by holding up a £20 note. "Who would like this £20 bill?" he asked. Hands went up throughout the audience. He went on to say, "I am going to give this £20 to one of you, but first let me do this." He proceeded to crumple up the bill. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" The same hands went up in the air.

Then he said, "What if I do this?" He dropped the £20 note on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Again, the same hands went up.

Then he smiled and said, "You have all learned a valuable lesson. No matter what I do to the money, you still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth £20. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. We feel as though we are worthless. But no matter what has happened or what will happen, you will never lose your value in God's eyes. Dirty or clean, crumpled or finely creased, you are priceless to him."

Our artwork today shows a giant crumpled, withered banknote, mounted on a wall. American artist, Paul Rousso, created various wall sculptures of crumpled up currency. They are made by a process of infusing plexiglass with heat, then shaping and distorting it, to get the crumpled effect…

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Fred Galvez
Fred Galvez(@fred-g)
9 months ago

I like the thought of my own weaknesses my own sinfulness not degrading my worth in God’s eyes.. it is a comforting feeling. Though I am Catholic and attend confession monthly I do find it freeing and comforting to consider my Protestant friends position that Jesus finished work on the cross has washed away all past present and future sins of those who believe in him. They always fall back on the passage -those who call on the name of the Lord will be saved. It contrasts with my Catholic upbringing which emphasizes the need to run the race to the end and bear the good fruit of loving works lest we be cut off and pruned from the Vine. + of course I end up choosing the conservative course to remain on the Narrow Path by performing spiritual and temporal Works of Mercy .. all part of picking up my cross daily. I do appreciate that Pope Francis seems to be melding more of the Protestant understanding into Catholicism with his emphasis on inclusiveness and reducing the criteria for acceptance into the faith . May all Christians join Jesus in his prayer that we all be one. + Catholic / Universal / throughout the whole

Pamela Riordan
Pamela Riordan(@pamelariordanyahoo-com)
8 months ago
Reply to  Fred Galvez

Fred, I so value what you’ve shared…and thank you for describing your Catholic upbringing; running the race to the end and bearing the good fruit of loving works “lest you be cut off and pruned from the Vine”. I imagine I’d always be living with this huge weight around my neck, wondering if I was meeting the mark at any certain point in my life and worried that “it wasn’t enough” when I finished the race. As a Protestant (Anglican), I guess I take for granted that all my sins are forgiven – past, present and future. For me, knowing I am forgiven, I want to perform acts of mercy in gratitude for what has been done for me on the cross. Am I over-thinking the idea of a “running total” of good worksbeing kept in the back of one’s mind? I’m wondering if the focus would then tend to be on me, rather than on Him who saved me…would love your thoughts, dear Brother-in-Christ.

Stephen Pigott
Stephen Pigott(@stephen)
9 months ago

How extraordinary that Jesus did not have to touch the man for the healing to take place. A simple but profound story about the professor and the bank note. Thank you so much for the post

Patricia O'Brien
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
9 months ago

I like the message in the gospel, the message in Patrick’s reflection – and I lIke the artwork.
Again, mind goes back to Simon Peter – despite his flaws, Christ’s love never wavered, He never stopped seeing his worth. I pray that he sees us in the same way.

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