Saturday, April 19, 2014

Women at the Sepulchre

Benjamin West (1738-1820) 
The Women at the Sepulchre 
Oil on canvas
79.3 x 58.4 cm
Private collection

Benjamin West (1738-1820)
The Women at the Sepulchre 
Oil on panel
83 x 86.5 cm
Brooklyn Museum, New York

The American Quaker Benjamin West  treated this subject on at least eight occasions

The alternative title is  The Angel at the Tomb of Christ

Pope Paul VI once gave an address to the organisers and members of an International Symposium on the Resurrection of Christ (4th April 1970)

He said:
"Is not all the Gospel-history centred on the Resurrection? Without this, what would the Gospels themselves be, those Gospels which announce "the Good News of the Lord Jesus"?Do we not find there the source of all Christian preaching? (cf. Acts 2:32).

Does it not always remain the fulcrum of the whole epistemology of the faith, which without it would lose its consistence - as the Apostle Paul himself says: "If Christ be not risen... our faith is void" (cf. 1 Cor. 15:1-4).

Is it not this same Resurrection - which alone gives meaning - to all the Liturgy, to our "Eucharists", assuring us of the presence of the Risen Christ, Whom we celebrate amid thanksgiving: "We proclaim your death, O Lord Jesus; we celebrate your Resurrection; we look forward to your return in glory" (Anamnesis).

Yes, all Christian hope is based on the Resurrection of Christ, upon which is "anchored" our own resurrection along with Him. Indeed, even now we are risen with Him (cf. Col. 3:1) - the whole fabric of our Christian Life is woven through with this unfailing certainty and this hidden reality, along with the joy and dynamism which they produce."

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