Father and Son
Sculpted by Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010),
Stainless steel, aluminium, water and bronze bell
Executed in 2005
© Installed for the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, Washington, USA

Father and Son
Sculpted by Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010),
Stainless steel, aluminium, water and bronze bell
Executed in 2005
© Installed for the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle, Washington, USA

Gospel of 9 July 2023

Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened

Matthew 11:25-30

Jesus exclaimed, ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and of earth, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children. Yes, Father, for that is what it pleased you to do. Everything has been entrusted to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.

Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light.’

Reflection on the public sculpture

Today’s fountain sculpture by Louise Bourgeois features a father and a son. The father has is arms outstretched and we can almost hear him utter the words of today's Gospel, 'Come to me'. The little boy also has his arms outstretched and wants to reach his father, but can't. There seems to be a distance which can't be bridged.

Each of the two figures has a ring of water shooting up around it. When you see the fountain in action, sometimes the pressurised water completely covers one figure, so one figure is invisible to the other. A few minutes later the other figure has water shooting up all around it, with the other figure being completely visible. So the fountain rings around each figure at times 'hide' and ‘reveal’ the figures to one another. Louise Bourgeois was 94 years old when she made this sculpture. Remarkable! This sculpture shows in such a simple yet effective way how the fountain hides and reveals the boy from the father.

Today’s gospel reading gives us an insight into the prayer of Jesus. The words ‘I bless you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth...' demonstrate Jesus’ communion with his father. But that love between the Father and the Son then flows immediately into praying for those who labour and are overburdened, inviting them to come to him and receive the gift of rest. This two-fold dynamism of Jesus praying to his Father, which then energises loving service for the broken, is what we are called to do as well.

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Liliana Lazzaro
Member
Liliana Lazzaro
11 months ago

Bellisimo Evangelio , y cuan creativa escultura!!!!

Estrellita Picart
Member
Estrellita Picart
11 months ago

Truly remarkable to create such an artwork at her age!

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
11 months ago

The third of the three-step plan Jesus outlines, “learn from me,” is my homework assignment. With the lightened burden comes my freedom and my responsibility to do that. Peace, Mark

Christine Vanaken
Member
Christine Vanaken
11 months ago

Wegens de 50ste verjaardag van ons huwelijk kregen we in de Eucharistieviering opnieuw de zegening van onze priester-deken. We verloren een vijfjarig zoontje. Dankzij ons geloof en de tussenkomst van God door vrienden heen, werd dit juk draagbaar en hebben we deze last kunnen dragen. We danken de Heer voor onze nog 4 in leven zijnde kinderen en onze 10 kleinkinderen. We bidden dat ook zij dit geloof nog ooit mogen waarderen.

Rya Lucas
Member
Rya Lucas
11 months ago

Het verlies van een kind is een verdriet dat nooit verdwijnt. En hoe fijn is dan ons geloof in Jezus dat je kan sterken en troosten… Je mag en kan tegen hem aan huilen. Kinderen die het geloof laten voor wat het is… overal hetzelfde. Ik heb geen kinderen, maar hoor het van familie, vrienden, kennissen. Het maakt verdrietig en machteloos… maar geloven is een cadeautje van God en ik ben ervan overtuigd dat Hij zal zorgen!!
En alsnog gefeliciteerd met de 50e huwelijksverjaardag… het is ahellofalotofyears.
Dit vind ik zo’n prachtig beeld. Jezus zegt: “Kom maar bij mij… ik zal je sterken en troosten.”

Christus de Verlosser in Rio.jpg
Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
11 months ago

Gosh I can remember this Bible passage from last time round! And I remember saying that it reminded me of the poem on the Statue of Liberty;
“give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
……..
send these the homeless tempest-tost to me….
Beautiful words today from the Bible and the Statue of Liberty.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
11 months ago

Last night we had a lovely sermon from our visiting bishop on this reading. How can anyone refuse the offer Jesus makes here- and we must also in turn make that offer to others, as the bishop said, without exception.

This art work disturbs me – I know as a child I would have been stressed out by this permanent separation and it would have made me anxious and sad. However, 94 years old!! What an inspiration.

Have a restful and holy Sunday everyone!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
11 months ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

I’m off to do my greeting job for people coming into Mass soon. I give a smile and hand out the hymn books and I remember a lot of names. But I have this slight nag at the back of my mind that some would rather not be greeted! I suppose I should work on the fact that most people like it.
Sometimes I have a Croat lady with me who has the most lovely smile and Slavic accent who does a better job but we can only do our best, can we not!?

Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain
11 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Dear Charles, I was separated from church attendance for a period of my life. When I returned, I was greeted by a smiling man who held out his hand. Now, nearly 40 years later, I still remember that man. Keep doing what you are doing, please. Blessings, Mark

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Thank you so much Mark for that reassuring comment. When I returned to the church after a long absence I was greeted by a lovely priest!!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
11 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Haha Chazbo… re those that don’t want to be greeted, it is rather they who have the problem…keep smiling 🙂
We were introduced to our two new Stewards of the Gospel today at Mass – they said one of their principal roles is to make all feel welcome in the church community… I rest my case.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
11 months ago

:):)

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
11 months ago

Well said! All should be welcome, if people don’t want to be welcome that’s their problem!

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
11 months ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

…And is this not the ‘problem’ of the reckless Father and Son in the Prodigal parable? The greeting at the door of the Church is a very powerful and potent LAY ministry ( note the RCIA program – when it’s done properly/WELL). It is where one exercises their baptismal priesthood as another Christ – and not as ‘me’/Charles. It is where we are privileged to experience/display the charism of being Christ ALWAYS holding out His hands with reckless extravagance, even ‘foolishly’: when accepted and perhaps especially ‘when rejected’.

Antonio Portelli
Member
Antonio Portelli
11 months ago

One of my favourite Gospel passage. I know that in my nothingness and inspite of my weaknesses, God is always, every moment, showering me with His grace and blessings. Thank you God !

Polly French
Member
Polly French
11 months ago

Jesus, like the Father in the sculpture has always his arms outstretched towards us but just as the son in the sculpture doesn’t always see the father, so often neither do we. The important thing to remember is that he is always there for us!

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