“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11).
Together with Michelangelo and da Vinci, Raphael was one of the trio of artistic greats in the High Renaissance. Orphaned by age 11, he nonetheless began his career at that point, running his father’s studio. On April 6, 1520, his 37th birthday, Raphael died unexpectedly in Rome. He had been working on his largest canvas, The Transfiguration, but at death left it half done. At his funeral, his Transfiguration was placed on his coffin stand, a symbol of the incompleteness of life, the brevity of time, and the unexpectedness of death.
How different the words of the psalmist! At the Transfiguration it was declared: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Mt 17:5). What more could we ask for than He who satisfies God? In the One who sits at His right hand we find the “path,” “presence,” and “pleasures” for which every human heart longs.