In this painting by Pontormo, the Eye of Providence looks down upon the gathering of the disciples with Christ, when he reveals himself in the sharing of the cup and bread. This symbol, known today as part of U.S. currency design, has been used for centuries to indicate God's presence. In this painting by Pontormo, the symbol communicates God's watching over humankind. Much as the dove symbolizes God's presence in the incarnation, the Eye of Providence evokes the union of Christ with God after his resurrection.
Reading into next week's text, the passages from Revelation and John serve as the framework for this highly symbolic painting, softening the Revelation passage with a more beneficent portrayal of God's nature.
"Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him... "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty."