THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Jesus went up the hill, sat down and began to teach this is what he taught the crowd

amen 🙏🙏


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Ace says …….seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:

The Sermon on the Mount, Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1598 © The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
The Sermon on the Mount, Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1598 © The J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles: Source: Christian Art

Gospel of Matthew 5:1-12a

‘How happy are the poor in spirit;

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Happy the gentle:

they shall have the earth for their heritage.

Happy those who mourn:

they shall be comforted.

Happy those who hunger and thirst for what is right:

they shall be satisfied.

Happy the merciful:

they shall have mercy shown them.

Happy the pure in heart:

they shall see God.

Happy the peacemakers:

they shall be called sons of God.

Happy those who are persecuted in the cause of right:

theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Reflection on the painting

‘Happy are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’

Even though the painting by Jan Breughel the Elder (1568 – 1625) is packed with figures, it is only a small painting at 26 by 36cm in size. So as a viewer one needs to go up close to really see what is going on in the painting. Jan Breughel in his composition decided to put Jesus amongst the crowds. He is hard to identify. Yet everybody is congregating around him to hear what he has to say.

Identified by a pale yellow halo, Christ stands on a small podium near the centre. We can see the disciples behind Jesus. Plenty of further detail to look at. In the foreground, a gypsy is telling fortunes and a vendor sells bread. Looking at the head-dresses, we can see Jews, Arabs, monks, farmers, poor people, rich people, etc… The Sermon on the Mount is for everyone!

Set in a beautiful landscape, this painting also reflects the interior landscape of Christ when he gave us the Beatitudes: a generous, colourful, tranquil heart. The Beatitudes are not a set of rules, but they are rather a vision of where true happiness lies… deep inside Christ, reachable within the rich landscapes of our own hearts. We could understand the different beatitudes as like the different pieces which make up a beautiful landscape. The more we live these beatitudes, to more beautiful our interior landscape becomes.

LINKS: Gospel in Art:
Today’s reflection:

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