Yes - No,
Sculpted by Markus Raetz (born 1941),
Conceived in 2003,
Cast bronze
© Markus Raetz artist

Yes - No,
Sculpted by Markus Raetz (born 1941),
Conceived in 2003,
Cast bronze
© Markus Raetz artist

Gospel of 15 June 2024

Say 'Yes' if you mean Yes, 'No' if you mean No

Matthew 5:33-37

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘You have learnt how it was said to our ancestors: You must not break your oath, but must fulfil your oaths to the Lord. But I say this to you: do not swear at all, either by heaven, since that is God’s throne; or by the earth, since that is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, since that is the city of the great king. Do not swear by your own head either, since you cannot turn a single hair white or black. All you need say is “Yes” if you mean yes, “No” if you mean no; anything more than this comes from the evil one.’

Reflection on the sculpture

Today's artwork is rather hard to illustrate in a simple photograph. So we collated three images in one. Swiss artist Markus Raetz creates these optical illusion sculptures that change depending on the angle the viewer is looking at. Our bronze work portrays the word YES shifting into the word NO when viewed from a different angle. It is a clever optical sculpture. Isn't it so that when we look at situations from a certain angle we would think one way, and then looking at the same reality from another angle, we would have opposite thoughts?

This is often our issue, that we say 'yes' to something when in a certain situation, and 'no' when in another. Inconsistency when we are placed at 'different angles' or in different situations or with different friends. Jesus in today's reading is calling us to be consistent and let our yes be a yes and our no be a no, irrespective of who we are talking to or what angle or situation we find ourselves in. Jesus is calling His followers to be people of known integrity and consistency.

Throughout this section of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus is focussing on getting what is in our heart right. Once were have our hearts right, it will then shape all we say and do. So the first and most demanding task is the former, getting what is in our heart right. The only way to do this is to take Jesus' teachings of the sermon on the mount to heart and let it take roots. Everything else will flow from that and your 'yes' will be a 'yes', and our no's will be no's.

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Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago

What an interesting piece of art by Markus Raetz (6 June 1941 – 14 April 2020). I did a quick ‘google’ and saw more of his work and was amused that a few pieces of his art made me think of current events. Art, without a doubt, can be very political and relevant to current events. Intentional or not, some artists can lead us to think certain things.

His bio included the following: “The principal topic of his work is the nature of perception. His works do not focus on what they portray, but on how they are perceived. They often require interaction by the viewer, and can be understood only when viewed in motion or from different angles.”

….”on how they are perceived”….very interesting.

Our leaders too often equivocate…..to say something in a way that can be understood multiple ways, especially so that people will think you mean one thing when you really mean another.
Sounds like America’s confusing policy of strategic ambiguity.
NB: In the context of global politics, a policy of deliberate ambiguity (also known as a policy of strategic ambiguity or strategic uncertainty) is the practice by a government or non-state actor of being deliberately ambiguous with regard to all or certain aspects of its operational or positional policies.

It goes without saying that our leaders believe we must retain the status quo at all costs….so we should say “yes” at this moment and “no” if asked about our “yes” the next moment LOL
How confusing for China to understand the West, especially in regards to Taiwan.
I pray we learnt a valuable lesson from the Ukraine fiasco and do not provoke the Chinese now with our confusing inconsistencies! What have all these confusing perceptions done ..Russia and China have never been closer….not exactly the best situation for America and the West.
Anyway, this confusion causes a lack of trust.

I like what Father said in his lesson:
“Jesus in today’s reading is calling us to be consistent and let our yes be a yes and our no be a no, irrespective of who we are talking to or what angle or situation we find ourselves in.”

I do go on …don’t I..but really…sometimes I think our leaders are glad so many citizens do NOT pay attention.
A major war with the world powers ….and not just the current proxy wars we think we can manage…..would be armageddon!
Our leaders have to wake up and stop playing with fire!

Jesus I trust in You!
To Jesus, through Mary, Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Will Howard
Member
Will Howard
1 month ago
Reply to  Jamie Cardinal

Yes EXCELLENT Jamie – you’ve taken the words from my mouth.
And now permit me to ”go on” , a li’l furter and a li’l closer to home as Christians and Catholics.

It’s now about 6 months since the Holy Father’s very controversial “Fiducia supplicans” – ‘ very confusing “declaration” on same sex blessings. Like Amoris laetitia ( The Joy of Love), it conveys some very serious doctrinal, ‘yes & no’, obfuscation. Just last night I came across a most brilliant CLEAR, DECISIVE AND FINESSED statement on the problem with this latest controversy; …with a SOLID nuanced witness to Catholic support of the papacy, in the midst of its pandering to “status quo “.

On his platform “Lust Is Boring”, Jason Evert is squarely posed in front of the camera, with shoulders set and face straight forward to ‘lovingly’ take on church leadership. In the piece, “Same-Sex Blessings? There’s ONE problem”, (found on YouTube), he BRILLIANTLY displays, from a lay/”citizens” point of view, the ‘YES’ of our Faith … Beautifully dismantling the “fiasco” of the “everything else” that is being thrown at us these days.

It’s about a half hour long … but his lucidity and comprehensibility will keep you riveted.
Please give it a listen and let me know what you think.

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago
Reply to  Will Howard

Yes….I did listen to the video…….a very interesting and thoughtful video.

I will say this……the video made me think of 2 vocabulary words.

1) Jesuitical: dissembling or equivocating, in the manner associated with Jesuits.

and yet I also thought of another vocabulary word.

2) modus vivendi: (i will paste the wikipedia definition)
Modus vivendi (plural modi vivendi) is a Latin phrase that means “mode of living” or “way of life”. In international relations, it often is used to mean an arrangement or agreement that allows conflicting parties to coexist in peace. In science, it is used to describe lifestyles.

Modus means “mode”, “way”, “method”, or “manner”. Vivendi means “of living”. The phrase is often used to describe informal and temporary arrangements in political affairs. For example, if two sides reach a modus vivendi regarding disputed territories, despite political, historical or cultural incompatibilities, an accommodation of their respective differences is established for the sake of contingency.

In diplomacy, a modus vivendi is an instrument for establishing an international accord of a temporary or provisional nature, intended to be replaced by a more substantial and thorough agreement, such as a treaty. Armistices and instruments of surrender are intended to achieve a modus vivendi.
———————————
I suppose we must remember that we must work in the world………..the world is thus.

Ilke Cochrane
Member
Ilke Cochrane
1 month ago

This meditation reminds me of a verse from the hymn “Courage brother” which I quoted some years ago when there was a general election; there is another one this year, and it is still relevant:

Perish policy and cunning,
perish all that fears the light!
Whether losing, whether winning,
trust in God, and do the right.
Some will hate you, some will love you,
some will flatter, some will slight;
heed them not, and look above you:
trust in God, trust in God,
trust in God, and do the right.

Jamie Cardinal
Member
Jamie Cardinal
1 month ago
Reply to  Ilke Cochrane

Courage brother……amazing!
Thank you for sharing that hymn!
“…trust in God, trust in God,
trust in God, and do the right.”

Thimas@
Member
Thimas@
1 month ago

I wonder if our politicians could learn to say yes or no? Rather than ” what I would say is blah blah ‘ 😆

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Thimas@

They keep their fingers crossed behind their backs anyway…😂

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

Yes Patricia and this is leading to a loss of faith in our public institutions. Most worrying. Poor Rishi has inherited the whirlwind…..

Armanda Andre
Member
Armanda Andre
1 month ago

Well said

Paul Burrell
Member
Paul Burrell
1 month ago

This has posed issues for some believers on jury service or appearing as a court witness. Personally, on jury service, I have chosen to ‘affirm’ that I will speak the truth rather than swear on the Bible but I appreciate others might take a different line!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago

I like the sculpture very much – and the message in today’s Gospel. If you are recognised as a person of truth and integrity, there is no need to swear on anything. It makes me cringe when people say “I swear on my mother’s life” or worse, their children’s …Why even think of saying that???

Susan Cuthbert
Member
Susan Cuthbert
1 month ago

That is a beautiful message!

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago

It is the eternal quandary since the great disobedience when we turned away from God’s. The great yes of humanity to restoring this right relationship was found in the ‘Yes’ of a young woman from Galilee, and in the sacrifice of her divine son on the cross.
We still find it hard to submit to what we know God asks of us, but everyday we can pray for that immense grace which helps us say it loud and clear to each other, to ourselves, and to God.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago

I am reminded of Vicky Pollard and her “yes, but, no, but, yes lol!
We are in Norwich and yesterday went to the Catholic cathedral to see if it would work for our son’s wedding. It’s massive and quite dark. We shall see.
Have a good weekend everyone 😀

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Enjoy Norfolk- will you be popping to Walsingham on your trip?

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

I have been to walking ham a few times SFG. This week I’m having to pray that my son will grace the cathedral with his presence. Anything more would be pushing it 🤔

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Walsingham

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien
1 month ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

We wondered where you were…greetings C.

Monica Doyle
Member
Monica Doyle
1 month ago

Difficult one this morning! Listening to your heart.. Yes… No.. No mention on maybe! Enjoy the day🌻

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace
1 month ago
Reply to  Monica Doyle

Maybe the human option, yes the divine one, no- well we’ll leave that one there!

George K
Member
George K
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

What do you suppose an honest “I don’t know” implies?

George K
Member
George K
1 month ago
Reply to  George K

This is one of my favorite Thomas Merton Prayers….

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following Your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please You does in fact please You. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this You will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust You always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for You are ever with me, and You will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M
1 month ago
Reply to  George K

I had never heard that prayer before. It’s beautiful.

Jackie
Member
Jackie
1 month ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

My will is yes unfortunately my mobility is often no

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