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Where should we look? Up or down?

Above is a photo of a remarkable mosaic inside the Aya Sofia, an ancient and imposing church in Istanbul. The mosaic, dating from 944 CE, is both beautiful and troubling. Why troubling? In it, is depicted Mary, denoted ‘Mother of God’, with an infant Jesus on her lap. He is dressed in gold and his head is surrounded by a halo. The holy pair sits at the centre of the mosaic, receiving honour, deference and gifts from the Emperor Constantine, on the right, and the Emperor Justinian, on her left.

What do you see?

What do you see: a glass/vase or 2 faces? Can you see both at the same time? I can’t. It’s the same picture but there are 2 entirely different perceptions possible. In a word, we do have choice as to how we make sense and meaning of life. Last Sunday we looked at Mark 8:22-26; a man is having trouble working out what it is that he is seeing. He perceives people who look like trees. Are they people or trees? What he perceives is a lack of clarity. The man is representative of all of us who, following the vision of Jesus, are often unclear as to how we should view the world.

A new Beginning

This is the beginning of a new little initiative to share some reflections with you all via email from time to time. They may flow from a homily or others things that I’ve been reflecting on. They won’t comprise a long treatise, just a few paragraphs.
If this represents another bothersome email for you please let me know and I’ll take you off the email list and will take no offense.
We do live in a busy culture; it’s harder to meet regularly so this email represents a different opportunity to gather.
My first reflection: Family & Legacy?

Smashing social walls

One day, Jesus was sitting with his friends. It was on the edge of a small town, typical of the time.

He was laughing and sharing stories of the trip around the group.

Suddenly he noticed some people over in the distance. He stopped smiling and went quiet.

He turned back to his friends and said “lets go have lunch with them”.

“No Jesus, we cannot visit them.” (whispering) “They are lepers. You cannot do that.”


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