The busyness and worries of life can overwhelm people, even when they are simply trying to accomplish day to day tasks. For its size, the illumination called The Call of the Disciples can be quite overwhelming. The moving crowds, flying angels, Jesus somewhere in there, and almost an unnoticeable lamb on the bottom right corner of the page. With all this going on, one must step back and ask what is the message this image is trying to convey? As any believer and non-believer would know, following a certain practice or belief is no easy task.
Being a disciple comes with its challenges and blessings, but that is not the message this image invokes. Looking at it one might ask the question “Where is God calling me to serve him?” or “How is God calling me to live out my call?” With Christ barely noticeable in the middle of the page and displaying similar colors to both the people and angels, one can consider that message is about solidarity and about Christ’s presence here and now, among us. One can receive the message that the call to follow Christ is to serve one another, to live in solidarity.
Another message this image invokes is the joy of being a disciple. The image calls one to a reorientation to have Christ at the center of life. By reorienting back to the core of one’s beliefs, and focusing on the representation of those beliefs, one can find joy in true discipleship. As Thomas Merton states “we do not exist for ourselves alone, and it is only when we are fully convinced of this fact that we begin to love ourselves properly and thus also love others.”
This commentary was contributed by James Gumataotao, a senior Theology major and a member of the Library’s Research Desk team.