1st Sunday of Lent – Lent is a transforming mystery, a “sacrament”
Response to WDTPRS 1st Sunday of Lent –Temptation of Christ
the engraving includes several events ...
- Patricia Cecilia says:
The engraving, like many older depictions, includes several events. In the foreground is the temptation of Christ, as Satan tempts Our Lord to make bread of ‘these stones’, whilst in the distant heavens are the angels ready to come and minister to Him. In the middle-ground on the right side is the Baptism of Our Lord, Who can be seen kneeling just to the left of the River Jordan with God the Father approving of Him, and a ray of light from God the Father to God the Son illustrating that approval. At the very far right, below Our Lord, one can see St. John the Baptist on the edge of the Jordan, his hand cupped to hold the water of baptism. In the right background is Jerusalem, brooded over by a very jagged mountain (which may be suggestive of Calvary or just an artistic descendent of the mountains in Eastern icons). Note the demons who almost look like they are rejoicing in Our Lord’s temptation, as if they think that the powers of Hell could win. I have forgotten if the animals mean anything specific, or if, like in illuminated manuscripts, they are just part of the border. But the animal leaping at the upper left looks like a hart (“as the hart panteth after the fountains of water, so panteth my soul after Thee, O Lord”) which is also a medieval symbol for Christ; or perhaps it is the gazelle leaping on the heights from the Canticle.
I think these older illustrations are a reflection of the Mass itself, unfolding the mysteries of Our Lord progressively as one looks more intently with an open heart (actuosa participatio, anyone?).