February 2012 Prayer and Reflection

From the February 2012 cover of Living with Christ

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LOCATION: Basilica di San Marco, Venice, Italy CREDIT: © Giraudon/The Bridgeman Art Library International

By Living with Christ Staff


The Flood, from the Atrium, detail of Noah receiving the white dove (mosaic) Veneto-Byzantine School (13th century)

 

The story of Noah (Genesis 6–9) has always captured the imagination of believers; even the youngest children are captivated by its vivid imagery. This year, we begin the Sundays of Lent with the end of the story: God’s promise of compassion on humanity as symbolized by the rainbow, the “sign of the covenant I have established between me and every mor­tal being that is on earth” (Genesis 9:17).

 

Our cover is a detail from one of the magnificent gilded mosaics that decorate 46,000 square feet of the interior of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice. An ex­ample of Byzantine style, it depicts the first sign of hope to appear after the devasta­tion of the Great Flood.

 

While the flood waters continue to swirl about him, Noah receives the returning dove that carries an olive branch back to the ark. His trust in God’s word is reward­ed. The waters of the flood are receding to reveal the next step in God’s plan for a “re­birth” of humanity, foreshad­owing our rebirth in Christ.

 

If you wish, sit quietly with the picture and reflect on the following questions:

  • Has God ever asked the seemingly impossible of me? What was my response?
  • How do I prepare myself to watch for signs of reassurance that God may be sending to me?
  • What advice might Noah offer to me when I am tempted to lose hope?

 

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Living with Christ Staff