1490 BramantinoThe Resurrected Christ
Bramantino (circa 1465-1535) was a Lombard painter and architect whose real name was Bartolomeo Suardi. His works were noted for their fine architectural backgrounds – though there is little evidence of this in ‘The Resurrected Christ’. If anything, it is the face, body and cloak that have an architectural quality, evidence of careful draughtsmanship.
It seems to me that Bramantino was trying to capture the image of a perfect man – perfect in form, in intellect, and compassion. At the same time, his ‘Resurrected Christ’ is a man who has passed through death and is now detached, no longer part of the world that we, the living, inhabit.
The cloak that Jesus wraps around himself has an almost metallic sheen to it, mirroring the pallor of the skin. And yet you notice that the face itself has quite a different colour to it, as if there is more life in it than there is in the body.
The skin is luminously pale, unearthly, even though it shows the marks of violence and the raised veins of a living body. The eyes are sad, looking through and past the viewer. They are the eyes of someone who is somewhere else. These eyes have seen things that ‘the living’ have not seen. They are disquieting.
IMPORTANT NOTICE from Fr.Kev
For all those who subscribe to this Blog, the email format that you receive it is in really terrible format. I have tried to tidy it up, so that it reads well for you, but the computer has a mind of its own. I suggest that you use the email as a reminder that I have posted something for you, and please return to the main site. www.realhomilies.com
Also, for this week I am taking a little ‘break’ so I will only post a realhomilie…sorry. I hope that I will be doing some deep sea diving into the sea! But, the way that the weather has been shaping up this year, it looks as though I might only have to step out of the door…..rain and more rain 😦
Thank you and God Bless you.
Dear One and All,
It’s an extraordinary fact, but very understandable, that one of our basic attitudes towards God is sometimes that of fear. The first time the word ‘fear’ is mentioned in the Bible is when Adam and Eve sinned. We are told that ‘they hid, because they were afraid’. From then on, most contacts with God began with the words ‘Fear not; be not afraid.’ This was even said to Mary, as it was to the shepherds. It is reckoned that Jesus used this expression several dozen times throughout the gospels.
Today’s gospel speaks of the apostles being terribly frightened. This seems strange, as the reason for the fear is the one person who had always been their best friend.
In a way it’s sad to see Jesus pleading with his friends to believe him. He invites them to touch him, to give him something to eat, to examine his hands and his feet. Human nature is so fragile, and so changeable. His apostles had their friend Jesus on a personal basis, and had felt at home in his company. This time, however, things were different. He had broken out of the constraints of the human body, and there must surely have been a sense of uniqueness about him that they had never seen before. It is very difficult for the human mind to grasp the concept of the utter transformation that takes place, when someone they have known and loved is so utterly transformed, and now has an aura of unearthliness about him.
Before we move on, there are a couple of moments in this Gospel story today which we cannot afford to let go unnoticed. Firstly, the Disciples who experienced the Risen Lord gradually on that journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus had their eyes opened at Jesus breaking the Bread with them at table. Now these same Disciples have returned to Jerusalem and are sharing their story with other Disciples, and during their conversation, the Risen Lord stood among them. A question in my mind is, why didn’t the Disciples who experienced Jesus at Emmaus confirm again with the Jerusalem Disciples that this is the Risen Lord, whom they were talking about? I know that I would not have been the first person to ask that question, but it seems to me that the ‘coming to faith’ is a gradual process, not only for the Disciples, but as the Gospel Community intended…..yes, for all of us. There is a very real emphasis on the wounds of Our Risen Lord. Again, the ‘seeing’ of His wounds turns their sadness and fear into joy. It’s a bit like the Apostle Thomas; remember that the Risen Lord took up his previous desire to touch the wounds of the Risen Lord. When the Risen Lord appeared in the room, according to John Gospel, Jesus invited Thomas to enter into His wounds……remember his response? ‘My Lord and my God’ the great act of faith.
So it goes for us today as in all times in these post Resurrection times, that there is not much chances of experiencing the Risen Lord today, unless we enter into the woundedness of His body living in His Church. When we do this…..the experience can only be that like Thomas, ‘My Lord and my God.’ Let’s think about that. Now let’s move on.
We are told that, while they still doubted, they were filled with joy and wonder. Jesus spoke to them about the promises of Scripture, and how he had just fulfilled them. While they still wondered, he commissioned them to continue the task he had begun. In the following of that line, which is not included in today’s gospel, he promises that he will send them the Holy Spirit, and they will have a new power within themselves, which will urge them to go out in loving boldness and proclaim that the Kingdom of God is at hand. The Risen Lord initiates the authority for this venture and He gives them the commission, which is to go out to all people proclaiming the Good News! ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.’
Let’s place ourselves among those disciples within today’s Gospel. Maybe our prayer is: “I believe, Lord, help my unbelief…Lord, by your cross and resurrection you have set us free…Lord, increase my faith, Lord increase my faith!”
God Bless you and your families and may we never forget each other in prayer. Fr.Kev
Resurrection, St Paul de Meythet Church, Arcabas
|Modern religious art at its best – stylish, dramatic, relevant. Note the large scale of the painting – compare it with the altar furniture in front.
This is a painting that demands attention, and deserves it. The Risen Jesus is being mobbed by angels, but his calm figure dominates them and the altar space. Arcabas’ message is clear: Christianity is about life, not death.