Monday, October 8, 2007

Jesus Baptized.

i. Water ( Oil on Canvas. Faces Series: Jesus in the Waters, 2002. Collection of Mr. Bernard Kilroy. U.K.)

Water figures in many of Jyoti’s paintings, as too in biblical imagery: the waters that were ‘the face of the deep’ before creation; the waters of the flood, over which the rainbow shone, sign of God’s covenant of peace with all creation; the waters of the Red Sea parting to liberate the fleeing slaves, the ‘children of Israel’; the ‘water of life’ with which Jesus identified himself, both with the alienated woman at the well and during debate in the temple; the waters of baptism - that of Jesus and of those who accept his way.

The face of Jesus here depicts him at that turning point, his baptism in the Jordan, with the descent of the Spirit when he was declared Son of God in a special way. Jesus has become part with the waters. His character is innately like that of water. For (to quote Jyoti): water seeks out the lowest place. Or, as Francis says in his Hymn to Creation, the waters are humble - they offer life to others and for others - and in themselves are clear, like light.

Like the Spirit hovering over the waters at creation, in the new creation that Jesus points to the dove-like Spirit infuses his mind and being, leading Jesus to begin his ministry of healing, sharing his vision of a new world, accepting into his new community those falsely alienated and demeaned by others. We recall that it was a dove which brought back the olive branch, symbol of peace, when sent out to by Noah to search the flood-waters for a secure place of refuge.

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