Fourth Sunday of Easter

Palms by Victor Delhez — copper plate engraving, 13 x 15.7 inches, after 1956
Link to website

May 8, 2022 Lectionary Texts — Year C
Acts 9:36-43
Psalm 23
Revelation 7:9-17
John 10:22-30

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The scene is impressive… Set in the New Jerusalem, a massive crowd of white-robed palm bearers makes its way down a street and straight into the sky. United in a song of unending praise, the crowd appears before the Lamb seated on the throne. From our vantage point, we see Christ sitting above the clouds with his back towards us. The throne is atop a massive temple-like structure.

This marvelous envisioning of the Revelation text comes to us from the South American artist, Victor Delhez, a skilled engraver who served many years as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts at the National University of Cuyo in Argentina. Inspired by his friendships with individuals among the indigenous Quechua peoples, Delhez created over 100 Gospel illustrations set in the Bolivian landscape. A Buenos Aires publisher printed an exquisitely bound Spanish Gospel volume featuring 90 of the Delhez’s images in 1944. Sometime after 1956, Delhez began working on an Apocalypse series for the Book of Revelation. Palms is one of 31 plates in that collection. If you have some spare time, I would highly recommend you view the complete set of engravings.

Practicing Visio Divina:

  1. View the artwork
    What do you see?

    Note shapes – color – style – movement
    What stands out for you?
    What are you curious about?
    What questions do you have?
    Hold back any feelings – judgments – opinions
  2. Read the accompanying scripture and look over the artwork again
    What connections do you make?

    Between the image and text?
    What is coming to mind from your own experience?
    What feelings are rising in you?
    Are you uncomfortable with something?
    There are no right or wrong answers
  3. Read the scripture again and explore the artwork a third time
    What do you hear?

    What is God saying to you?
    What do you wish to speak to God?
    What blessing or prayer is rising in you?

Jesus: I have told you, and you do not believe. The works I am doing in My Father’s name tell the truth about Me. You do not listen; you lack faith because you are not My sheep. My sheep respond as they hear My voice; I know them intimately, and they follow Me. I give them a life that is unceasing, and death will not have the last word. Nothing or no one can steal them from My hand. My Father has given the flock to Me, and He is superior to all beings and things. No one is powerful enough to snatch the flock from My Father’s hand. The Father and I are one. — John 10:25-30

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