It was a rare opportunity to see an artist's masterpiece transformed from a black-and-white sketch into a full-color, larger-than-life version of a resurrected Christ sitting on a throne of clouds flanked by a pair of angels above the altar at Divine Redeemer Church, Mount Carmel.

Local artist Mark Sassani spent months creating the painting as the centerpiece of a major renovation project at the church that was rededicated 15 years ago.

As a member of the church and an assistant editor at The News-Item, I took pictures of Sassani at work from start to finish. Some of those many pictures appeared in print in a unique, full-page display as "panes" in a large image of one of the church's stained-glass windows.

Others were featured in the commemorative booklet Divine Redeemer issued to mark the occasion. The heading on the pages featuring Sassani and his work was "Creator and Creation."

I have often wondered if anyone realized the intended meaning of "Creator and Creation" with Sassani and the epic-size painting of the Redeemer. Sassani was not the creator; he was the creation of the Son of God depicted. God was the Creator of Sassani and of his artistic gifts.

The painting remains a striking reminder that God has given us everything that we will ever truly need. It is up to use those gifts for His greater glory - just as Sassani did.

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Our talents are gifts

from God and for others.