Thursday, December 24, 2020

Breaking Bread

8"x10" Oil on Panel

For Rejoice! Advent Meditations with the Holy Family

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I love to explore "what-ifs" in my paintings. What if Mary and Joseph had quiet, intimate meals together before Jesus was born? What would their conversations have been about? What daily joys and burdens did they share with each other? What would their meal-time prayers have been like?


In this painting, Mary and Joseph are giving thanks as their meal begins. The table is lovingly set with a simple meal. They have made the ordinary feel a little more special with the addition of a nice table covering. They sit comfortably at the low table on mats and pillows. The late light is soft and diffused. As they pray, Joseph begins to break bread—perhaps a family tradition that Jesus, himself, would adopt later in his life. Mary prays deeply. Her hands are posed patiently and gently curved over her womb. The Mary and Joseph pray to give thanks. They pray for the baby. They pray for each other. They pray for God's help.


Now, what if you imagine yourself seated at the table, joining them in their meal? What does the meal smell like? Can you feel the soft table covering? What would you want to say to Mary and Joseph? What would you want to ask them? And most importantly, what would your prayer be?

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