Double-Sided Gospel Leaf, first half 14th century, Tempera on parchment Overall: 10 15/16 x 7 1/2 in. (27.8 x 19 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) ■ The Tigray region of Ethiopia converted to Christianity in the fourth century and became a very important ally of the Byzantine Empire ruled from Constantinople (Istanbul) in controlling the trade routes to India. Tigray also maintained contacts with other Christian communities of the eastern Mediterranean, including those in Syria and Egypt. The compelling images on this double- sided leaf are from a group of early- fourteenth century Gospels that feature a revival of motifs that reached Ethiopia from the eastern Mediterranean, probably in the seventh century. Both sides of the leaf are inscribed in Ge'ez, the ancient language of Ethiopia. On the front is a dramatic octagonal Fountain of Life flanked by peacocks, which are indentified in the inscriptions as "ostriches" (royal birds in Ethiopia), and gazelle like "babula." The text within the domed space refers to the arrangement of the Eusebian Canon Tables, or index to the Gospels, which preceded the image in the original manuscript. On the reverse, the Crucifixion is represented by a monumental jeweled cross topped by a Lamb of God, symbol of Christ's sacrifice. At the sides are the two thieves bound to their crosses. Other leaves from this Gospel are in the Nationalmuseum in Stockholm ■

Y entonces uno se queda con la Iglesia, que me ofrece lo único que debe ofrecerme la Iglesia: el conocimiento de que ya estamos salvados –porque esa es la primera misión de la Iglesia, el anunciar la salvación gracias a Jesucristo- y el camino para alcanzar la alegría, pero sin exclusividades de buen pastor, a través de esa maravilla que es la confesión y los sacramentos. La Iglesia, sin partecitas.

laus deo virginique matris