Illuminated Manuscript page depicting the Calling of Peter and Andrew,,
Painted by the Master of the Brussels Initials (Italian, active about 1389 - 1410),
Between about 1389 and 1400,
Created in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Tempera colours, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink,
© The John Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Illuminated Manuscript page depicting the Calling of Peter and Andrew,,
Painted by the Master of the Brussels Initials (Italian, active about 1389 - 1410),
Between about 1389 and 1400,
Created in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
Tempera colours, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink,
© The John Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

Gospel of 30 November 2021

Follow me and I will make you fishers of men

Matthew 4:18-22

As Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast in the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, 'Follow me and I will make you fishers of men.' And they left their nets at once and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. At once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.

Reflection on the Illuminated Manuscript Page

Our beautiful illuminated manuscript page is taken from a missal commissioned by Cosimo de' Migliorati, bishop of Bologna and cardinal. The missals was executed sometime between 1389 and 1404, the year in which he was elevated to the papacy as Innocent VII. This missal was probably used by the cardinal himself at the altar as he celebrated Mass. The three illuminations are very finely executed. The top band shows the calling of Saint Peter and Saint Andrew. Jesus stands on the shore, raising His right hand, calling them to follow him and become fishers of men as per our Gospel reading today. The two apostles turn towards Jesus with expressions of surprise and amazement. As the boat continues to sail towards the shore, Peter has already dropped his paddle and folded his hands in prayer. He is ready and has made up his mind. Andrew, standing behind him, is still holding on to his net, but his eyes are already firmly locked on Jesus. Below the miniature, Andrew appears in the initial D, for Dominus (God), holding the cross upon which he was crucified. Below, Saint Peter appears in the initial Q holding a massive key, the key to unlock heaven. 

This miniature page opens the section of the missal called the Sanctorale. The sanctorale is also known as the 'proper of the Saints', with proper in the sense of 'that part of the Eucharist which is varied according to the calendar of the saints. 

Today's reading at the start of Advent tells us hoe Jesus changed the the lives of the first disciples, who leave everything and follow Him after they received the invitation from Jesus. At the start of the new Liturgical year and Advent, we are invited too to respond with renewed freshness to Jesus' call. In the middle of our or day-to-day lives, Jesus is walking by, noticing us and singling us out… asking us to follow Him. 

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