Baptism of Christ,
Painted by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494),
Painted 1486-90,
Fresco
© Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Baptism of Christ,
Painted by Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494),
Painted 1486-90,
Fresco
© Cappella Tornabuoni, Santa Maria Novella, Florence

Gospel of 19 September 2022

Anyone who has will be given more

Luke 8:16-18

Jesus said to the crowds:

‘No one lights a lamp to cover it with a bowl or to put it under a bed. No, he puts it on a lamp-stand so that people may see the light when they come in. For nothing is hidden but it will be made clear, nothing secret but it will be known and brought to light. So take care how you hear; for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away.’

Reflection on the Fresco painting

We continue on the same theme as yesterday where Jesus asked us to share with others what we have. If we have a lamp, then put it on a lamp stand, and share the light with others.

But at first it looks almost as though Jesus is contradicting what he told us yesterday. Yesterday he asked us to share our riches with others. Today he says ‘for anyone who has will be given more; from anyone who has not, even what he thinks he has will be taken away’. He doesn’t mean that if we have many worldly possessions we will be given more; Jesus is talking about ‘what we have’ in our relationship with him. And that relationship started the day we were baptised. We were all enlightened by Christ at the moment of our baptism. In the liturgy of baptism, just after the child has been baptised, the celebrant addresses the parents in the following words: ‘This light is entrusted to you to be kept burning brightly. This child of yours has been enlightened by Christ. He/she is to walk always as a child of the light. May he/she keep the flame of faith alive in his/her heart’. So our artwork depicts baptism.

In our fresco painting by Domenico Ghirlandaio we see God the Father supported by a choir of angels, sending down the Holy Spirit upon Jesus as he is being baptised by St John the Baptist. Two further angels to the left of Jesus are holding his cloak (one red for Christ’s sacrifice for us; one blue stressing his divine nature). A semi-nude figure of similar stature to Jesus is standing to the left, probably Adam. The old Adam and Jesus the New Adam both together: the first Adam was naked and received clothes (Gen3:21). The Last Adam had clothes but was stripped naked (Matt 27:28).

Share this Gospel Reading

Did you like this Gospel reading and art reflection?

Join in the discussion about this artwork & Gospel reading

Subscribe
Notify of
3 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
2 months ago

The Renaissance. The greatest cultural peak ever reached in the West. Although I heard Renoir’s son compare Belle Époque and the Impressioist movement with it.

Bat Ori
Member
Bat Ori(@bat-ori)
2 months ago

The image is lovely, and the reflection is fine; but the two are tenuously connected. Art can be a powerful part of interpretation, but not in this case!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
2 months ago

My niece told me that the priest visited her son’s (age 6) school last week and handed one child a small loaf, telling her to break off a piece and pass the loaf to another to another child. But he said even though you have your piece of bread, you must all make sure nobody goes without, even if you have to break your own piece again.
I like the painting and have visited this church in Florence twice. I don’t recall even seeing it! That’s Florence for you – you become blasé after a while..

Readings related to Luke 8:16-18

19 September 2020

Luke 8:4-15

The parable of the Sower

18 October 2022

Luke 8:16-18

Feast of Saint Luke the Evangelist

18 September 2020

Luke 8:1-3

The women who accompanied Jesus

24 September 2019

Luke 8: 19-21

My mother and my brothers are those who hear th...

Join our community

In addition to receiving our Daily Gospel Reading and Art Reflection, signing up for a free membership allows you to: 

The mission of Christian Art is to offer a daily Gospel Reading paired with a related work of art and a short reflection. Our goal is to help people grow closer to God through the magnificent pairing of art and the Christian faith.

CONNECT WITH US

Join over 40,000 people who receive our daily Gospel Reading and Art Reflection

Skip to content