Today’s Gospel in Art – You have hidden these things from the wise – Independent Catholic News

Posted: April 29, 2020 at 3:45 am

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A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery, by Joseph Wright of Derby 1766 Derby Museum of Art, Derby, England

Gospel of 29th April 2020 - Matthew 11:25-30

The reading today is one that over the years has always somewhat puzzled me. He prays to His father and says: 'I bless you, Father, for hiding these things from the learned and the clever and revealing them to mere children'. At first glance we may think that Jesus is thanking His Father because he hid the Gospel from the wise and intelligent, but revealed it instead to uneducated fishermen like Peter. Does this therefore mean that it is wrong to be intellectual? Does this mean that God does not care for the educated? Of course not. But the problem lays within the attitude such people can display towards the Gospels.

Having an overly scientific approach to the Christian faith would lead to the danger of wanting to prove the existence of God using scientific methods. Or such an approach could trivialise God's greatest miracles and fail to see the divine nature in the. Unfortunately, science can be used only to explore creation. It cannot explore the Creator. So Jesus presents us with the need for us to have a childlike faith. This isn't a childish faith, but a childlike faith. A child is completely dependent on adults for safety, love, nurturing, education and knowledge. Similarly, a faithful person depends on God in a way that is absolutely dependent.

Reflection on the Painting

The painting by Joseph Wright of Derby was painted in 1766, in the midst of the Age of Enlightenment, when science took centre stage and was widely celebrated. It is then that in a way our 21st Century phenomenon of Scientism (excessive belief in the power of scientific knowledge to provide the only genuine knowledge of reality) started. The painting shows a philosopher giving a lecture on the Orrery in which a lamp is put symbolising the Sun, and explaining how the Planets revolve around the sun. Wright's depiction of the wonder produced by scientific research, marked a break with previous painting traditions in which the artistic depiction of such wonder was reserved mainly for religious events. It is a very striking painting though. The single light-source is masterfully lighting the faces. To Wright, the marvels of the scientific age were as awe-inspiring as the subjects of the great religious paintings

But Scripture cannot be approached just with the mind. The word of God also speaks to the heart and only then fully comes to life!


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Today's Gospel in Art - You have hidden these things from the wise - Independent Catholic News

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April 29th, 2020 at 3:45 am

Posted in Enlightenment