Painted by Ron DiCianni,
Oil on canvas,
Executed in 2005,
© Ron DiCianni

Painted by Ron DiCianni,
Oil on canvas,
Executed in 2005,
© Ron DiCianni

Gospel of 17 February 2020

A sigh straight from Jesus' heart

Mark 8:11-13

The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with Jesus; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him. And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them again and re-embarking, he went away to the opposite shore.

Reflection on the Painting

Throughout the Gospel of Mark, we regularly get significant little personal details about Jesus, not mentioned in the other gospels. Mark writes that ‘with a sigh that came straight from the heart’ Jesus continued to address the Pharisees. Jesus at this stage had already been doing plenty of miracles and still they didn’t believe Him. They wanted even more signs… When would they have enough signs to believe? What sort of signs did they need?… The same goes for us.  When will we realise that signs of God’s existence are all around us, and that at some stage we simply have to have faith?

We read about a frustrated Jesus today. He didn’t just get frustrated with the Pharisees, but sometimes also with His own disciples, who often didn’t grasp what Jesus was teaching them. We like to think that if we had lived in the days of Jesus, we would have been moved by His miracles and that would have given us enough 'signs’ for us to fully believe. So we can be a little judgemental towards the Pharisees and even the disciples at times: why didn’t they understand fully what Jesus was teaching them? They simply needed time to let things sink in, to come to terms what they had witnessed. They needed time to process things. And therein lies the beauty of our faith: it is a spiritual pilgrimage which slowly brings us towards a better understanding of Christ… and towards salvation…

And I will leave today’s artwork, titled 'Salvation', speak for itself…

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