Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph
Rembrandt / 1656

Picture and text below from Art and the Bible.

When Joseph hears that his father Jacob is dying, he takes his sons Manasseh and Ephraim to see him. He wants Jacob to bless his sons. The blind old man is willing to do so, but much to Joseph's surprise, he puts his right hand on Ephraim's head. Tradition had it that the eldest is to be blessed with the right hand, and Ephraim is the younger.
As Joseph objects, Jacob says about Ephraim "his seed shall become a multitude of nations". Jacob thus must have known that the tribe of Ephraim would become larger than the tribe of Manasseh.
Rembrandt chose not to depict the argument in this intimate painting. Note the presence of Asenath, mother of the children.


Sunday Gospel Reading
From the Gospel of Saint Matthew

He proposed another parable to them.
“The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed
that a person took and sowed in a field.
It is the smallest of all the seeds,
yet when full-grown it is the largest of plants.
It becomes a large bush,
and the ‘birds of the sky come and dwell in its branches.’”

No comments: