Tuesday of Holy Week

This Holy Week, I’m posting brief daily reflections inspired by some famous (or not so famous) statues. Today’s statue is Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was designed and created by Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and built by Brazilian engineer Heitor da Silva Costa, in collaboration with French engineer Albert Caquot. Romanian sculptor Gheorghe Leonida fashioned the face.

Traditionally the statue looks to represent the way Jesus hung on the cross, and for many that is what they see. However, many also see the statue as Jesus offering a welcoming hug. In fact, in 1969, Brazilian artist Gilberto Gil wrote a song inspired by the monument called Aquele Abraço (That Hug). In truth, it could be both: Jesus offers us love both in the form of comfort (a hug) and in the form of unconditional mercy (on the cross). In this season where we still cannot safely hug, may you know both kinds of love of Jesus.

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