Monday, August 28, 2006

Masterpiece Monday # 6
Today's masterpiece is Domenico Feti's "Moses before the Burning Bush." He was an Italian painter, living from around 1589 to 1623. This portrait of the shepherd of Sinai is one of my favorites because of it's weight and it's warmth. You can feel in the tightly packed space the intimacy of this Encounter. Moses is strong and his flesh browned by the years he's spent tending the flocks of Jethro. As he moves to undo his sandal, his gaze remains fixed on the theophany before him, the shimmering manifestation of that Other World, a World that is now breaking into his own. This mission moment will forever change him, and there will be no turning back. The types are all here, the Lamb appears below, as if to nod in affirmation that God Himself will one day prepare the sacrifice, and the fire pulsates, a heart of flame pointing to that Sacred Heart that will soon be formed in the womb of a Virgin, and beat with the deepest love for humanity. And in the middle of the canvas, Moses gazing on the Mystery, ready to open up his mind to the Inconceivable and accept the call to lead. May his fiery resolve and burning determination light a fire in our own minds and hearts. May we too look to the Flame that burns without consuming, the flame that shines beside every tabernacle where the Holy of Holies dwells; Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, the True Manna from Heaven!
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