La resurrección del hijo de la viuda de Naín,
Pintado por Wilhelm Kotarbinsky (1849-1921),
Óleo sobre lienzo,
Painted in 1879
© National Museum Warsaw

La resurrección del hijo de la viuda de Naín,
Pintado por Wilhelm Kotarbinsky (1849-1921),
Óleo sobre lienzo,
Painted in 1879
© National Museum Warsaw

Gospel of 17 septiembre 2019

La resurrección del hijo de la viuda de Naín

Lucas 7:11-17

Jesus went to a town called Nain, accompanied by his disciples and a great number of people. When he was near the ggate of the town it happened that a dead man was being carried out for burial, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. And a considerable number of the townspeople were with her. When the Lord saw her he felt sorry for her. ‘Do not cry’ he said. Then he went up and put his hand on the bier and the bearers stood still, and he said, ‘Young man, I tell you to get up.’ And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him to his mother. Everyone was filled with awe and praised God saying, ‘A great prophet has appeared among us; God has visited his people.’ And this opinion of him spread throughout Judaea and all over the countryside.

Reflexión sobre la pintura sobre el cobre

Our painting today was done by a Polish artist. Son of an impoverished Polish nobleman, Wilhelm Kotarbinsky went to Italy to learn how to paint, and then ended up in Russia where he built out a very strong career in painting, mainly based in Kiev. He was a Catholic and always took great care and interest in painting huge genre scenes (our painting is 222cm. wide; 7 feet) where religious subjects were placed in landscapes which really place us right into the setting and feel of Jesus’ time.

In the foreground we see some dead thistles. Eatable thistles such as the ones shown here, were known as a dish of the poor, thus in painting a symbol for poverty and pain. Being a tough plant, the thistle grows everywhere other plants usually don’t. It stands for surviving where others plants won’t… But here the thistles are dead… reflecting the state of the son of the widow of Nain. He was truly dead, not just ill or sick. Both thistles and the dead son are part of the left half of the painting. The right half on the contrary, where Jesus is, and resurrects the body, is set against a green, healthy, fertile, grassy ground. Even the thistles there show life and look much healthier. Jesus is depicted in the middle of performing His miracle… not because he was asked to, but simply because ‘he felt sorry’ for this widow. His compassion for her did miracles…

These types of painting are so wonderful to look at, as they place you right there at the scene. This is where art is a fantastic tool to evangelise. In prayer, our emotions take us from feeling sorrowful for the widow, to rejoicing when he came back to life, to being in awe of what Christ did,  etc… All these feelings worth praying about and letting them sink in. But the main beauty of this story lies in seeing Jesus who was compassionate towards the widow, performing the miracle without even being asked to… Jesus in His compassion can also re-ignite our own lives, for the better, giving us life and joy… So that He can also teach us to be compassionate like Him…

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