Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Calling of Saint Matthew

The Calling of Saint Matthew by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio 1600

The following is written by Michael Morris

The scene is one of suspended activity caught in a moment of time. Christ’s sudden appearance was not anticipated by these men. The invitation to another life and another world manifests itself in one shocking instant. The frozen gestures of these individuals betray the gamut of human emotions that follow a challenge or command.

The bearded Matthew is set apart from the others. Wide-eyed, he is dazzled by the light. Even though his right hand remains firmly on the coin he has been counting, with his left hand he points to his breast as if to ask the beckoning Savior, “Who, me?” Soon he will rise from the table and follow the captivating stranger. Already Christ’s feet are turned as if to leave. The light behind him and Saint Peter, which they have introduced into the scene by their arrival, would seem to be miraculous, for it casts no shadow upon the defensive youth facing them.

It is Characteristic of Christianity that the weak are often chosen and made strong to fulfill some measure of God’s divine plan. The fact that Matthew, the most reviled of men, should be chosen to enter into the company of the apostles and be one of the four recorders of Christ’s life on earth is a testimony to the wonder of God’s love and the transforming power of grace. (Magnificat Vol 3, No. 7 / September 2001)

Click on the picture a couple of times to get a nice close up of the picture.

No comments: