Reflections for

Palm Sunday, Apr 14, 2019

Liturgy of the Palms: Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29; Luke 19:28-40


Liturgy of the Passion: Isaiah 50:4-9a; Psalm 31:9-16; Philippians 2:5-11; Luke 22:14-23:56 or Luke 23:1-49

On Art

Crucifixion, by Giovanni Stradano (1523–1605)

Giovanni Stradano, a Flemish artist who moved to Florence to study Italian art and culture, followed the style of Mannerism taught by Giorgio Vasari. The renovation of the Santissima Annunziata, which included Stradano’s altarpiece Crucifixion (1569), was part of a citywide project to modernize chapels and reemphasize the teaching of biblical stories through art. In this painting, Jesus turns away from the criminal on his left, who looks into the darkness in defeat and despair. Jesus turns to the repentant thief and says, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). The painting is rich with other symbolic elements. The skeleton at the foot of the cross represents Adam, who is redeemed by Christ’s death. The dog in chains represents Satan and the anti-God powers now defeated by Jesus’ sacrifice. Among the painting’s Mannerist features are elongated proportions, contorted body positions, and use of bright yellow and orange colors in the fabrics.


Speaking of the cross

A review of Ingolf U. Dalferth and Stephen Finlan

Much of what Christianity has long been saying about the cross of Christ is problematic. So what is to be done about it?


Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 the Consultation on Common Texts. Used by permission.