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Chapel of the Holy Eucharist

Sacred Heart school, Derroñadas, Soria, Spain, 2012

 

 

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Dedicated to the Eucharist, the painting in this chapel is located in the apse, above the tabernacle on whose doors appears the inscription: PANIS VITAE (Bread of Life).

The mystery of the Eucharist is prefigured in the scene depicting the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves, which is represented in the lower part of the apse: two children offer Jesus their gifts – five loaves and two fishes. At their feet: seven baskets full of blessed bread with the sign of the cross, indicating that the miracle is fulfilled.

The contemplative gaze is then directed toward the heights, toward the Eucharist that took place during the Last Supper with Jesus in the center, surrounded by his disciples.  The mural depicts the three chosen disciples - Peter, James and John - who were with Jesus in Mount Tabor and then again in the Garden of Gethsemane. They represent the entire community of the Apostles as well as the Church. Each of the disciples expresses a particular way of penetrating the mystery of the Eucharist: Peter, represented to the left of Jesus (from the observer’s perspective), with his eyes toward Jesus, raises his hands in prayer and in state of awe before the miracle; James, to the right of Jesus, with one hand receives the gifts of the children and offers them to Jesus and with the other points out Jesus for the children; John, in attitude of recollection, fully drawn into the mystery, rests his head on Jesus’ bosom. John teaches each disciple how to direct the interior gaze toward the depths of this mystery of love, toward the Heart of the Son in whom the Father is well pleased.

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This interior journey can be embraced thanks to the light that comes from the heavens, the light of the Spirit sent by the hand of the Father. This light envelops our Lord and his disciples and descends over the Eucharistic gifts. The Last Supper is at one time the Eucharistic Supper celebrated and continued in the Church after the Resurrection of Christ, as it is indicated by the wound of Jesus’ open side and by the wounds in his hands. The Risen Christ, covered with colorful vestments – a white tunic and the golden cloak– blesses with this right hand, while with his left hand points to this open side, under which is the chalice which contains the wine of the New Covenant in his blood. Along with the disciples and the two children, we are invited to take on this interior path and to penetrate in this mystery, receiving and adoring our Lord in the holy Eucharist celebrated in the Church.