Meditating on a Gospel passage through sight and sound
A sharing by Alvin on his painting on the calm after Jesus had quietened the storm.
The venue was not a church but it was a meeting room. At the front, instead of a rostrum there was an easel and a white canvas mounted.
Everyone sat in anticipation as Mr Sylvester Singh from the Office for the New Evangelisation (ONE) read out the Gospel of Mark 4:35-41, where Jesus urged His disciples to have faith after they feared drowning in the storm.
It was a prayer session. To be more accurate, it was a prayer with an element of meditation. The 30-odd people in the audience were asked to visualise the image of the Gospel passage that was read to them. They were each given paper, pen and pencil. And as they listened to the reading accompanied by the sound of the sea, the waves and the storm, they were asked to write words and draw images that came to their mind.
“Place yourself in the Gospel story as it’s being read, as if you were there,” said Mr Singh.
Meanwhile, Alvin Mark Tan put his artistic talent to work. He drew the scene of the peace that ensued after Jesus stilled the waves and the storm had subsided. He is a full-time artist and a parishioner of the Church of the Holy Family.
The participants were attending Faith in the City, an event organised by ONE on Aug 25 at The Catholic Centre in Waterloo Street.
According to ONE, the purpose of painting the scene was to help the participants gain a deeper appreciation of the faith by using a visual medium in addition to hearing the Gospel text.
“Jesus Christ is the central figure of Christianity, and it is in Jesus Christ that we place our faith, hope, trust and confidence,” Mr Singh told the participants, some of whom were not Catholics.
The event also saw participants sharing their appreciation of the gift of faith that they have received and which has seen them through difficult moments in life.
Ms Cindy Foo, who is not a Catholic, and who was invited to the event by her Catholic friend, said, “I heard a lot about Jesus from people and I want to know Him more. So, this was a good opportunity to discover the Christian faith.”
Artist Alvin also shared that creating the Bible scene on canvas gave him a sense of peace and calm.
ONE aims to inspire, equip and support Catholics to be agents of the New Evangelisation through their personal witness, community life and the explicit proclamation of the Good News.
The ONE website is at one.org.sg