Today’s Gospel: Matthew 5, 13-16
This reading is very familiar from many homilies, and discussions heard with several different age groups within various parish CCD classes, and even retreats. Since it’s so common it seemed obvious at first glance that the message and warnings are clear and relatively easy to understand. It’s not tough going like all of Revelation. Right?
Praying and thinking about this over a month has made me realize once again that the Word is always made new and personal when you give it time. This reading is more nuanced and layered than I originally imagined and I’m happy to find it has a message that speaks to me right now in my life. Once again I’ve learned God is always there to talk to us when we’re ready to listen.
As a teacher of Art and Art History I’ve found that when a student can understand how an artist uses light and color within a composition, they are well on the way to understanding the image’s narrative, and the message the artist is trying to convey.
Color, like salt, gives a work of art a certain flavor; if the color is weak the image can be ‘blah.’ Art needs just the right amount of color in the same way that food needs just the right amount of salt to add excitement to the entire dish and wake up our appetites. Too much color or the wrong color can make an image seem imbalanced, or accidently disturbing, and sometimes even nauseating.
Light, the particular focus of light, and even the absence of light have powerful implications in a work of art. How the artist chooses to light an interior environment, landscape, or even a portrait’s subject tells a lot about both the artist and the subject. I’m going to be much more careful to prayerfully examine the way I share salt and light in the world, and color and light in my creations.
How can I be careful to shine the light of clarity and truth, so that nothing I serve others dilutes the glory of the Creator’s story of beauty and salvation?
Heavenly Father, fill my heart to overflowing with salty goodness and the nurturing light of Your love. Help me to add the right pinch of salt into my life’s work to only create images that reflect and glorify Your light, so they’ll make others hunger for only You, and more of You.
Copyright 2016 Dianne Settino
Dianne Settino has been married to Linus Meldrum since 1984. Together they homeschooled 3 children in beautiful rural Central PA. Now 3 grandchildren have joined the family, to everyone’s joy! In 2014 they relocated to Ohio to share their love of beauty, truth and goodness with anyone, and in particular, art students at Franciscan University of Steubenville.