Le Fifre (the Flute Player),
Painted by Édouard Manet (1832-1883),
Oil on canvas,
Painted in 1866
© Musée d'Orsay, Paris / Wikimedia

Le Fifre (the Flute Player),
Painted by Édouard Manet (1832-1883),
Oil on canvas,
Painted in 1866
© Musée d'Orsay, Paris / Wikimedia

Gospel of 9 December 2022

The children played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance

Matthew 11:16-19

Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘What description can I find for this generation? It is like children shouting to each other as they sit in the market place:

We played the pipes for you, and you wouldn’t dance;

we sang dirges, and you wouldn’t be mourners.”

‘For John came, neither eating nor drinking, and they say, “He is possessed.” The Son of Man came, eating and drinking, and they say, “Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.” Yet wisdom has been proved right by her actions.’

Reflection on the painting

Édouard Manet travelled to Spain in 1865, where he was mesmerised by a painting by Diego Velazquez at the Prado in Madrid. Upon his return to Paris in 1866, he began work on a new painting inspired by Velazquez, depicting an anonymous regimental fifer of the Spanish army. Manet presents the uniformed boy, in a manner that imitates the formula of Vélazquez's court portraits, against a flattened, monochrome background of neutral tone, thus frustrating attempts for the viewer to assess the figure's true size or importance. It is all about the young man joyfully playing, no distractions around him, and it isn’t important for us to know who he actually was.

Just pure joy to look at this beautiful painting of a fifer joyfully playing. To most of us, the children playing in the market place might just be a normal scene: we don’t pay much attention to it. For Jesus, however, such a scene offered a vivid image of life. He says that there are scenes around us of joy, where 'children are playing the pipes for you and you won't dance'.

The reading asks us to notice the small things in our lives, the incidental happenings, the joyful scenes around us, and appreciate them.  God is giving us so much, but at times we fail to see it.

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Maria Contreras
Member
Maria Contreras(@gera)
1 month ago

Me gusta este cuadro, el color, la forma, el traje, su mirada hacia el espectador. Se presta al evangelio, como dice la reflexión , aveces no vemos las cosas buenas de la vida que cada día nos regala Dios, en su inmensa bondad.

Andy Bocanegra
Member
Andy Bocanegra(@bogie29)
1 month ago

Thank you Patrick for your reflection. It is easy to see the inspiration drawn from Diego Velazquez. One of my favorite paintings by Velazquez is Christ Crucified. It is Christ on the cross on a plain dark background with no other distractions.

Maria Jose Beriain
Member
Maria Jose Beriain(@mjberiain)
1 month ago

Que bonito cuadro de Manet, y que se haya inspirado en Velazquez. ..
Gracias Patrick por ponerlo y relacionarlo con el pasaje del evangelio. Así, se nos queda más grabado en la mente y el corazón…lo que comentas…

Anthony
Member
Anthony(@anthony)
1 month ago

You are so right Patrick. We miss so much going on around us. All of it has meaning and even as observers we are part of it all. Thank you.

Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
1 month ago

Speaking of noticing the small things, the incidental happenings, I found the most beautiful autumn leaf last month and I’ve been trying to attach a picture of it to this message but have failed. Little things and events can be very interesting. I think it was Chekhov who said that no incident, however small, involving us humans, cannot have a play written about it!!

Anthony
Member
Anthony(@anthony)
1 month ago

Imagine being the subject of a Chekhov play!!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
1 month ago

Pleasure in the smallest things – therein lies a lot of happiness. You will constantly have your heart lifted.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
1 month ago

Manet is one brilliant, brilliant painter.
I always find it so interesting how artists travelled, saw other approaches to painting and interpreted them in their own works. Art is a growing, living thing.
As to the gospel today, Jesus is so accurate in His observations; people leap upon first impressions, run with that, and don’t THINK!
Good morning all – blessings and a prayer for each of you who look in, in whatever circumstances you find yourself today.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
1 month ago

You too Patricia!

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
1 month ago

Thank you !!!!

Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
1 month ago

Well said Patricia. I believe there to be quite a few people looking in on this site who enjoy the comments. I met one in the Festival Hall last night!
I remember Rufus Firefly with affection!

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
1 month ago

Patricia, I like your daily comments !! Thank you!

Silvina Tirabassi
Member
Silvina Tirabassi(@silvina-tirabasso)
1 month ago

Que hermosas tus palabras, Patricia: .. “
el arte es algo vivo”

Me recuerdan esas estrofas del poema “ Arte Poética “, de Jorge Luis Borges:

“ Cuentan que Ulises, harto de prodigios,
lloró de amor al divisar su Itaca
verde y humilde. El arte es esa Itaca
de verde eternidad, no de prodigios”

Silvina Tirabassi
Member
Silvina Tirabassi(@silvina-tirabasso)
1 month ago

Al *divisar su Itaca

Rya Lucas
Member
Rya Lucas(@katteliekemeissie)
1 month ago

Patricia, I love you! For who you are and, more important, how I feel when I read your comments. I love chazbo too; he’s so skipping from one topic to another but he’s always to the point. I love reading your comments. And last but not least: I love Patrick, for his daily gospelreadings, his kind comments and his prayers for everybody. I love you all and pray for all of you!!

marleen de vlieghere
Member
marleen de vlieghere(@marleen)
1 month ago
Reply to  Rya Lucas

Zo mooi gezegd. Volledig eens, Rya! I agree !!

Charles Marriott
Member
Charles Marriott(@chazbo)
1 month ago
Reply to  Rya Lucas

Love is all around!

Andy Bocanegra
Member
Andy Bocanegra(@bogie29)
1 month ago

Thank you Patricia. Blessings to you also.

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