Monday, April 16, 2012

The Shadow of Jesus

There has been a Jesus sighting in New Orleans. Apparently his shadow was seen on the column in a Catholic school. Oh, and his mother might be there too. Here is what USA Today had to say.

The shadowy image is projected on the lower half of a sanctuary pillar, with the clear symmetry of a face, a thin beard, and something complicated going on above the forehead.

In Christianity's solemn week marking the trial and execution of Jesus, people converging on the National Shrine of Our Lady of Prompt Succor interpret the shadow as an image of Jesus bearing a crown of thorns.

The Ursuline nuns have been forced to keep the shrine open far past its usual hours, which they are delighted to do, said Sister Carla Dolce, the head of the small community of five Ursuline nuns. Some visitors come with cameras, hoping for a picture. But most sit or kneel quietly, praying or engaging in whispered analysis of the image on the pillar.
The visage at Ursuline seems to be a naturally occurring shadow cast by an ornate chandelier above the sanctuary. But, asked Kim Thompson, who had come to see it, why had no one seemed to report it before? And why this, of all weeks?
"It's got me believing," she said.

In fact, there are two shadows on two pillars. On one, the man's face. On the other, some see an image of the Virgin Mary, although that takes a more imaginative leap.
Many pilgrims came already knowing part of the back story, confirmed by Dolce: two weeks ago, an Ursuline student in prayer at the shrine had asked for a sign, and shortly thereafter saw the shadow she had never before noticed.

Now all of this is very exciting since no one has any idea what Jesus looked like. We have no descriptions of him nor any pictures from the first century. Yet, people continue to see Jesus and recognize him right away. I guess I am just not that attune to when Jesus shows up somewhere.

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