Well, finally, here is the 20th icon of my Rosary series -- the last one.
This one is called "The Proclamation of the Kingdom" and is the third of the five Luminous Mysteries.
This "mystery" is about the proclamation by Jesus of the coming of the Kingdom of God with the call to conversion and the forgiveness of sins.
There is really not a story I can tell that goes with this particular icon since it represents all of the 2 1/2 to 3 years of the ministry of Jesus.
In Mark's Gospel we read: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying 'the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand, repent, and believe in the [good news].'"
So, in this icon, entitled "Coming of Kingdom" in Greek, we see Jesus preaching to a crowd of followers. You will notice that some seem to be intently listening to every word, others seem to be arguing among themselves, while others seem to be very displeased by what they are hearing. No doubt, there were spies from the rulers among the crowd listening carefully so that they can report back to their masters later.
So it was then and so it is today.
I have also included a couple of icons that you have seen previously because they relate so closely to this whole idea of the different ways of proclaiming the Kingdom.
This first one is showing Jesus with the children.
We are told that once when Jesus was preaching, children and their mothers were trying to get close to him, asking for his blessing or perhaps a healing. His disciples were trying to prevent them from doing so since that felt that Jesus was too busy doing important stuff like teaching the gospel. Jesus noticed and told them to let the children come to him. At this point he said to his followers: "Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it."
This second icon from a month or so ago is called "The Good Samaritan". I recall telling you the story at the time I posted it.
The reason for showing it again tonight is because it, too, is an example of what "proclaiming the kingdom" means. The Good Samaritan story is one of the most familiar of the teaching parables that Jesus gave us. These parables are meant to show us what is necessary in order to enter the Kingdom that Jesus came to tell us about.
In Matthew's Gospel, we are told "Let your light shine before others so that seeing your good works, they will give glory to your Father who is in heaven." Surely, helping those in need, the sick and disabled is "letting your light shine before others" especially when you do these things out of love.
I will be showing you the Rosary icons again in the days ahead, but in sets of five at a time. I will also be asking for comments on how I might improve them before I start any serious talks with a publisher!
Finally, tonight, I have a link here so that if you wish to, you can sign "the people's treaty" in an effort to continue working at stopping the manufacture, distribution and use of cluster bombs which kill and maim so many children each year. Click on it only if you are interested. Peace be with you all.