“When you said, ‘Seek my face’, my heart said to you, ‘Your face, O Lord, will I seek.'” (Psalm 27:8)
Jesus Christ is the face of God, for the Lord said, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9). When we seek the face of Christ we might discover that this is the deepest longing of our hearts. But how do we begin to know the face of Jesus?
We know that Jesus’ face was well known to His mother and disciples; that the Greeks came to the apostle Andrew and asked to see the Lord’s face; that Jesus’ face was beaten and torn in His Sacred Passion; that Veronica wiped Jesus’ face on the way to Calvary; that Mary Magdalene did not recognise the Risen Lord outside the Empty Tomb until He called her by name; and neither did the disciples on the road to Emmaus recognise the face of Jesus, so transformed was He in His Resurrection.
Just as it was easier for the Magdalene to recognise Jesus’ voice than to see His face (John 20:11-18), so too it is easier for us to abide in the Lord’s words than to discern His face. If we abide in His words then His face will be revealed ever more clearly.
Remember that Jesus said: “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7) And again: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” (John 14:21-23)
As we look more and more closely at the words of Jesus in Sacred Scripture and listen with our hearts to the soft murmurings of His Holy Spirit, His face begins to emerge ever more distinctly, like a friend in the distance walking towards us, who starts to look increasingly familiar and recognisable.
This is to see the Lord’s face not so much with the eyes of the body but more importantly with the eyes of the heart; this is to look into the eyes of Jesus and somehow to know that He is looking back into your eyes too; this is to seek the Lord’s face and to know His merciful Love.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
The face of a person represents the heart, and the face often reflects the movements, affections, and intentions of the heart.
“Your face, O Lord, I will seek.” (Psalm 27:8) Those who seek the face of the Lord will find eternal life.
“And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” (John 17:3)
We can come to see the face of Jesus by looking more closely at His words in the Gospels, by dwelling with Him in silent love, and by submitting lovingly to His holy will.
We will find that He is the Son of God yet He appeared on earth as the Son of Man; that He preached the will of God yet submitted to the will of man; that He is the author of life yet He suffered the most cruel death; that He is infinitely powerful and yet utterly humble; and, in the words of St Augustine, that “He owes us nothing, yet He pays off all the debts of our sins”.
To see the face of the Lord on earth is the prelude for the vision of God, face to face, in Heaven.
© Leba Sleiman JesusRisen.me 2015
Read more: The Resurrection Of Christ