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Icon of Christ and St. Thaddeus
Gold and egg tempera on panel, 2011

I was asked to write an icon of St. Thaddeus for someone of that name. As we talked, he told me a story of a dark time in his life when he was deeply comforted by the strong sense that Jesus was walking with him, with his arm around his shoulders. That reminded me of a 6th-century icon that shows Christ with his arm around the shoulders of one of the early desert monks. This simple act of physical intimacy is comforting to all of us. It speaks powerfully of the IncarnationóJesus is truly present with us, touching us, embracing us. It is a time when, perhaps more than any other, Jesus is indeed our brother.




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