Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Labouring in Vineyards

Georges Rohner 1913 - 2000
Le Labourage dans les vignes
Working amongst the vines
Oil on canvas
60 cm x 73 cm
Musée départemental de l'Oise, Beauvais

Rohner was passionate about art. He helped found a new movement "Forces nouvelles" dedicated to the art of drawing well and to return to nature

In 1940 he was interned at Trèves. In the chapel at Stalag XII D he painted « Le Christ aux prisonniers» (see below)

Georges Rohner 1913 - 2000
Le Christ aux prisonniers
Christ amongst the Prisoners
Oil on canvas
190 cm x 34.4 cm
Musée national d'Art moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

In 1968 he was elected to the Académie des beaux-arts where he occupied the seat once taken by Ingres.

In 1965 he illustrated the French Catholic author François Mauriac`s " Oeuvres romanesques "

Here he is in a video talking about art and some of his works (in French):

The Parable of The Two Sons and The Parable of the Tenants are set in vineyards, places of work belonging to the Father.

Christ had entered Jerusalem and was preaching in the Temple Courts. He was overheard by the Chief Priests and Elders. They came up to him and asked him by what authority he preached (Matthew 21)

The narrative continues:

"24 Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. 25 John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”

27 So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

The Parable of the Two Sons

28 “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

29 “‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

30 “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

31 “Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. 32 For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.

The Parable of the Tenants

33 “Listen to another parable: There was a landowner who planted a vineyard. He put a wall around it, dug a winepress in it and built a watchtower. Then he rented the vineyard to some farmers and moved to another place. 34 When the harvest time approached, he sent his servants to the tenants to collect his fruit.

35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third. 36 Then he sent other servants to them, more than the first time, and the tenants treated them the same way. 37 Last of all, he sent his son to them. ‘They will respect my son,’ he said.

38 “But when the tenants saw the son, they said to each other, ‘This is the heir. Come, let’s kill him and take his inheritance.’ 39 So they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him.

40 “Therefore, when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?”

41 “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end,” they replied, “and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:

“‘The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the Lord has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes’?

43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit. 44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”

45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them. 46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet."

Pope Benedict XVI recently said that the first of these two parables should disturb us greatly

He said of the punchline to the first parable:

"Translated into the language of the present day, this statement might sound something like this:

agnostics, who are constantly exercised by the question of God, those who long for a pure heart but suffer on account of their sin, are closer to the Kingdom of God than believers whose life of faith is “routine” and who regard the Church merely as an institution, without letting it touch their hearts, or letting the faith touch their hearts."

Both parables certainly disturbed the Chief Priest and the elders, so disturbed that they wanted to arrest Jesus. If they could have, they would have. They wanted him silenced and punished. And to an extent they did and it appeared for a very short time that they were successful

The two parables are linked.

The first parable is about two of the sons: the one who said "No" but did what he was told; the other who said "Yes" but did not bother. The third parable is about the third son: the one who said "Yes" and went and did his Father`s will and suffered death as a result.

The Pope went on in his homily:

"The Gospel for this Sunday, as we saw, speaks of two sons, but behind them, in a mysterious way, is a third son.

The first son says “no,” but does the father’s will. The second son says “yes,” but does not do what he was asked. The third son both says “yes” and does what he was asked.

This third son is the Only-begotten Son of God, Jesus Christ, who has gathered us all here.

Jesus, on entering the world, said: “Lo, I have come to do thy will, O God” (Heb 10:7). He not only said “yes”, he acted on that “yes”, and he suffered it, even to death on the Cross.

As the Christological hymn in the second reading says:

“Though he was in the form of God, [Jesus] did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Phil. 2: 6-8).

In humility and obedience, Jesus fulfilled the will of the Father and by dying on the Cross for his brothers and sisters, for us, he saved us from our pride and obstinacy. Let us thank him for his sacrifice, let us bend our knees before his name and proclaim together with the disciples of the first generation:

“Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:11)."

(Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Mass at Freiburg im Breisgau on Sunday, 25 September 2011)