Imagining the Gospel Scene: The Epiphany of the Lord

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Editor’s note: “Imagining the Gospel Scene” is a new series from the Jesuit Media Lab. On occasional Sundays throughout this liturgical year, creators in the JML community will respond to the day’s Gospel passage through the practice of Ignatian contemplation, or what is sometimes called “imaginative prayer.”

In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius of Loyola invites participants to place ourselves in Gospel scenes using the imagination, relying on our senses to develop a distinctive, personal perspective on a given story — and thereby getting to know Christ better. After praying with the Gospel using their imaginations, our contributors will create a piece of art flowing from their experience — a painting, poem, short story, song, photograph or work in another medium.

Sunday, January 7, 2024: The Epiphany of the Lord (Matthew 2: 1-12)

“And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed for their country by another way.”

“By Another Way,” digital illustration, Marcus Bleech, 2024

Artist Statement
As a kid, I never paid attention to that last bit of verse. As an adult, it’s filled with intrigue. I grew up seeing imagery of the magi approaching, bearing gifts, or laying them before the manger. The Magi played no further part in my mind’s eye after those gifts are lain. Gold, frankincense and myrrh were impressive, but maybe the greater gift was that they had a dream of unease, warning them not to trust Herod — to avoid his spies and slip away unnoticed. Maybe their biggest gift was leaving by another way.

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