Sunday, August 17, 2008

Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jacob Blessing the Children of Joseph
Rembrandt / 1656

Sunday's Responsorial Hymn, from the Psalms of David:
May God have pity on us and bless us;
may he let his face shine upon us.
So may your way be known upon earth;
among all nations, your salvation.
Text below and picture above, 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.

Mass times in the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth:

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