“Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgment it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A favorite fresco is that of St. Jerome by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the church of Ognissanti in Florence, Italy. It’s an elaborate renaissance (1480) depiction of Jerome that tells you he was a doctor of the church, famous for translating the bible into Latin.
St. Jerome was really a 5TH century ascetic scholar who legend says once lived in the same cave where Jesus was born. But, no matter, because what we think is striking about the painting is its capturing of a precise moment in time versus a static portrait of St. Jerome. Jerome has stopped his work and inquisitively looked up and out. One wonders what has interrupted his life’s work.
We know from his writings, in response to the refugee crisis upon the sack of Rome, that he said, “I have put aside all study. For today we must translate the precepts of the Scriptures into deeds; instead of speaking saintly words we must act on them.” St. Jerome, so close to the Lord and attuned to the movement of the Holy Spirit, is perhaps shown in this fresco at a moment of immediate and decisive discernment, resulting in abandoning his scholarly mission and acting on a call to the more, the most.
Am I growing in my closeness to Jesus that I may be keenly aware of and ready to act on his call to the more, the most?
—Marty Massiello, a hospital administrator, and Jeff Weyant, an artist and designer, work in Palm Springs CA. They are members of St. Theresa’s Catholic Church and active at Verbum Dei, the Cristo Rey high school in Los Angeles CA.
Lord Jesus, help me to see not only what I have done for you, and what I am doing for you, but to see what more I can do for you. Amen.