Sistine Rules

If you have been a visitor to Rome and to the Vatican – no doubt you have been present in the Sistine Chapel. Originally known as the Cappella Magna (‘Great Chapel’), the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1473 and 1481. Since that time, the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today, it is the site of the papal conclave, the process by which a new pope is selected. The fame of the Sistine Chapel lies mainly in the frescos that decorate the interior, most particularly the Sistine Chapel ceiling and The Last Judgment, both by Michelangelo.

Most days it is very crowded with the security guards, tour guides, and curators ever reminding people of two things: (a) silence and (b) no photography or videography inside the Chapel. The first is understandable, but do you know why the limitation on photographs and videos? Take a few minutes and read this interesting article that came across my desk. Enjoy!

Belief and Belonging

It’s a late December day in Jerusalem. Jesus is walking in the Temple area, and as usual, he’s drawing a crowd during the Feast of the Dedication (better known to us as Hanukkah). The people have come with a question. Perhaps they’ve heard one of Jesus’s enigmatic parables, or witnessed one of his miracles.  Or maybe they just want to trap him into saying something they consider blasphemous.  Whatever the motive, they ask: “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”

Seems as an odd choice for a gospel so soon after Easter. How could we be “in suspense” after the Resurrection? But then again, maybe it tells us the truth about how faith works.

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