The story of Rizpah’s faithful vigil for her dead sons is a disturbing yet touching episode recorded in the Second Book of Samuel. Rizpah had been a concubine, or ‘official mistress’ of King Saul, before he killed himself after losing the battle of Mount Gilboa. She had two sons by him, Armoni and Meshibosheph. After … Continue reading Rizpah mourns her crucified sons (2 Samuel 21:1-14)
This very human story of how Christ talked anonymously with two mourning disciples is found in St Luke’s gospel, although it’s briefly mentioned in St Mark’s too (16:12-13). Pope Benedict XVI once summarised it very well. He said: “It tells the tale of two followers of Christ who, on the day after the Sabbath or … Continue reading The Road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)
The scourging of Christ before his crucifixion is mentioned matter-of-factly in three of the gospels (Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1-3), although it’s not described in any detail. These brief references to the scourging, however, don't take away from the fact that it was a terrible punishment that would have left Christ in a critical … Continue reading The Scourging at the Pillar (John 19:1-3)
This remarkable ‘Joseph’ window tells almost the entire story of the lives of both Joseph and St Joseph, the foster-father of Christ. Various events from the life of Joseph are paired with similar events in the later life of St Joseph. This is because one was understood to foreshadow the other. The window, which is by Hardmans, dates to 1882 and is found within the rosary shrine of Our Lady & St Dominic, London.
Following the Great Flood, the book of Genesis says that one of the first things that Noah did on reaching dry land was to thank God by offering him sacrifices. This pleased God, who then made a covenant - a pact - with Noah and indeed with all of creation. This covenant involved a promise that … Continue reading The Covenant with Noah (Genesis 8:20 – 9:17)
In his preaching to the crowds, St Peter interpreted Psalm 16 as a prophecy that Christ (in Hebrew, Messiah) would rise from the dead. After quoting the Psalm, he said: "David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, “He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption.” (Acts 2:22-31) St Paul referred to the Psalm in a similar … Continue reading The Resurrection of the Messiah (Psalm 16:8-11)
This stained glass scene is of the death of Joseph in Egypt, surrounded by his eleven brothers. Joseph had led a successful life there with his family, after arriving as a slave many years earlier. Now on his deathbed, he had some last instructions for them. Joseph told his brothers (as per the Latin scroll … Continue reading The Death of Joseph (Genesis 50:22-26)