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Center and Archdiocese of Boston Commission New Painting to Mark 40th Anniversary of Nostra Aetate

The Center for Christian-Jewish Learning and the Archdiocese of Boston have collaborated in commissioning a new artwork in observance of the Oct 28, 2005 anniversary of the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on the Relationship of the Church to Non-Christian Religions, Nostra Aetate.

Michael O'Neill McGrath, OSFS, a noted religious artist who is a frequent contributor to America magazine and illustrator of nearly a dozen books, has prepared an acrylic painting entitled, "In Our Time," the English translation of the Latin words, Nostra Aetate.

The painting depicts the symbolic figure of Wisdom guiding the pilgrim people of the Church and Israel to the New Jerusalem of the Age to Come. For Jews, Wisdom is found in the Torah and its study (e.g., Dt. 6:6-8; Pss. 19 and 119; Sir. 24; Avot d’Rabbi Natan A, addition 2 Ch. 8; Midrash Tanhuma Veyelekh 2), while for Christians, Jesus is the Wisdom of God incarnate, as the New Testament testifies (e.g., Mt. 11:19,28-30; Jn. 1:1-18; Col. 1:15-20). It includes the biblical text: "The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established as the highest mountain ... all nations shall stream toward it: many peoples shall come and say, 'Come, let us climb the Lord's mountain ... that He may instruct us in His ways and we may walk in His paths'" (Is. 2:2-3).

(l to r:) Center Director, Philip A. Cunningham; Mary C. Boys, SNJM, chair of the Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations; Susan Kay, Assistant Director, Office of Religious Education, Archdiocese of Boston; with the artist of "In Our Time," Michael O'Neill McGrath, OSFS.

The painting was unveiled at Boston College on Sunday, October 9, 2005, in conjunction with a celebration of the publication of the new book by the Christian Scholars Group on Christian-Jewish Relations, Seeing Judaism Anew: Christianity's Sacred Obligation. The event featured remarks by the artist. Br. Michael observed that the origins of the painting probably go all the way to Pope John XXIII and his greeting in 1960 of Jewish visitors with the words, "I am Joseph, your brother."

For information on ordering reproductions of the work, please contact Bee Still Studio at BeeStill@att.net, website: www.beestill.com.