Reflection – Caravaggio
It may not surprise you that I have included Caravaggio in the painters for this week’s reflections. What I was not aware of until today, is that the Supper at Emmaus was painted by him twice, the first being commissioned by Ciriaco Mattei in 1602. In both these works, and also in Titian’s painting the century before, the moment of revelation of the resurrected Christ at the breaking of the bread is exquisitely captured. One disciple moving up from his chair towards Jesus, the other, hands outstretched, one imagines a look of speechless amazement on his face.
In our Eucharist services, the liturgy is expressive, descriptive, beautiful, but it’s familiarity can sometimes cause us to miss that revelation of Christ in the elements of bread and wine.
‘Therefore , heavenly Father, we remember his offering of himself, made once for all upon the cross: we proclaim his mighty resurrection and glorious ascension; we look for the coming of your kingdom, and with this bread and this cup we make the memorial of Christ your Son our Lord.’
Like you, I have heard those words many times; how wonderful it would be if that revelation came upon us afresh that we did suddenly want to stand up, or throw our arms wide in amazement and awe. When the power of the Holy Spirit moves us beyond our usual reactions. There’s a song that goes:
Surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel?
Will I dance for you Jesus, or in awe of you be still?
Will I stand in your presence, or to my knees will I fall?Will I sing hallelujah?
Will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine……
Now that we are once again sharing Holy Communion together in Church, I have observed this. Despite the fiddling around with hand gel, gloves, masks, and despite you all only receiving in one kind, a sense a renewed joy, gratitude and worship during the Eucharist is present. We have all realised just how much we have taken for granted in the past; may this time be one of blessing, of refreshing, of a deep sense of the grace and love of God.