Tuesday, June 02, 2009
Set for the Fall
"Perhaps the cross, which chance would oft design
Upon the floor of Joseph's homely shed,
Across Thy brow serene and heart divine
A passing cloud of Golgotha would spread."
The above picture is one of Jesus at His daily chores in the house of His parents. He is gathering up wood chips from the work of Joseph, who appears to be making a plough. The Blessed Virgin has a look of foreboding on her face, no doubt brought on by the appearance of the cross in the pile of wood chips that were swept up for Jesus to carry away. She must be remembering the words of Simeon the prophet:
Luke 2:34 And Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary his mother: Behold this child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; 35 And thy own soul a sword shall pierce, that, out of many hearts, thoughts may be revealed.
This painting, an oil on canvas, is titled Our Saviour Subject to His Parents at Nazareth, and was painted by John Rogers Herbert in 1847.