Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy offers Saint Andrei Rublev as a January model of faithful practice of social justice.
As we continue to search out models of the faithful practice of social justice, we turn to the artist-Saint Andrei Rublev. A Russian iconographer, Rublev benefited from the struggles of earlier eras wherein icons were often considered to be idolatrous images. This was no small issue in the Church prior to the 9th century. Battles, verbal and otherwise raged around the issue of painted icons.
At the heart of the conflict was the question of human dignity—a social doctrine of the church. If Jesus was truly human, then we cannot approach that which is material or physical or human as evil. Rather, we are created in the image of God, therefore making images opens a window through which our human eyes may lead us to ponder the Divine. Saint Andrei was a monk who raised iconography to a new level in the 15th century. He displayed an approach to the mysteries of faith that balanced faith’s tradition with human innovation.
His most famous work is the icon of the Holy Trinity. Here we see a Divine community seated at a table reminiscent of the Eucharistic altar. St. Andrei sees a place for each of us and for all who believe and who share in the dignity of the Divine Image. All are welcome at this table without exception.
Consider: Have I recognized the Divine likeness of God in others today? Who has been an icon, an image of God for me today?
Pray: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, give us faith to see your image in the faces confronting us. Help us to be Your face to those we meet, we pray…