Satan and the Beast of the Sea, part of the Apocalypse series of tapestries,
por Jean Bondol and Nicholas Bataille
woven between 1377-1382,
© Chateau d'Angers, Angers, France

Satan and the Beast of the Sea, part of the Apocalypse series of tapestries,
por Jean Bondol and Nicholas Bataille
woven between 1377-1382,
© Chateau d'Angers, Angers, France

Gospel of 22 junio 2019

Cuida que nadie te engañe

Mateo 24: 4-13

Jesús dijo a sus discípulos: Tened cuidado de que nadie os engañe; porque vendrán muchos usando mi nombre y diciendo: "Yo soy el Cristo", y engañarán a muchos. Oiréis hablar de guerras y de rumores de guerras; no os alarméis, porque esto es algo que tiene que suceder, pero el fin no será todavía. Porque la nación luchará contra la nación, y el reino contra el reino. Habrá hambres y terremotos aquí y allá. Todo esto no es más que el comienzo de los nacimientos.

‘Then they will hand you over to be tortured and put to death; and you will be hated by all the nations on account of my name. And then many will fall away; men will betray one another and hate one another. Many false prophets will arise; they will deceive many, and with the increase of lawlessness, love in most men will grow cold; but the man who stands firm to the end will be saved.’

Reflexión sobre el tapiz

So far, we haven’t looked at any tapestries yet in our daily reflections. Tapestries have been around since Ancient Greek times (around 300BC) and the success of decorative tapestries, mainly since Medieval times, can be partially explained by its portability. Le Corbusier (20th century architect), once described tapestries as "nomadic murals”. Noblemen at the time could simply roll up and transport tapestries from one residence to another. In churches, they were displayed on special occasions, and thus changing the interior look of a church dramatically for feast days. The tapestry we are looking at today dates from the late 14th century and is part of a medieval set of tapestries depicting the story of the Apocalypse from the book of Revelation (John is seen here on the left holding the Book of Revelation), depicting a total of 90 scenes…

We see the dragon (Satan) giving his scepter to the beast of the sea (on the right), so that the latter beast may go out to the world to make the world follow the one that deceives you, as described in today’s reading. Whilst a lot can be said about this tapestry, to me its main value lies in the fact the beast on the right, whom the devil instructs to go out into the world to deceive us humans, is already slightly more human looking than the dragon (Satan) itself. By being already more human and attractive looking, it will be easier for him to deceive and get people to unfortunately follow him. The 14th century tapestry weaver already understood this, that in order for the devil to do his work, he needs to appeal to us, so he wove him as already being a much more human and attractive looking beast.

In the Cambridge dictionary, the word ‘warning’ is described as: ‘something that makes you understand there is a possible danger or problem, especially one in the future.’ So today’s reading is a warning by Jesus of what was to come after Him.  All of us believers need to take Jesus’ warnings seriously because our futures depend on it and the way we respond to these warning is ultimately what shapes our lives. We don’t know and can’t know what will happen to us in the future, or to the world. All we can do is fear nothing… and pray about everything… and place our trust in Christ…

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