Monday of the 32nd Week in Ordinary Time [II]
Titus 1:1-9 + Luke 17:1-6
November 7, 2022
Such is the race that seeks for Him, that seeks the Face of the God of Jacob.
The refrain for today’s Responsorial Psalm is a good one to memorize and use throughout the day for repeated recitation and reflection. “Lord, this is the people that longs to see your Face.” This refrain has many words that one might focus upon in meditation. But consider just the final phrase: “… that longs to see your Face.” There are two verbs here, and one noun.
What type of seeing is the Psalmist referring to, and exactly what Face is he referring to? He’s referring to the Face of the Lord, clearly, but how can one see His Face? Since God is purely spiritual, how can He have a Face? Throughout the Old Testament, especially in regard to Moses, we hear that man cannot bear a “face-to-face” encounter with God. In some sense, the term “Face” must be metaphorical when speaking of God. At least, this is so in regard to the Old Testament.
With the Incarnation, the holy Face of Jesus becomes our means of gazing upon the Face of God. St. Thérèse the Little Flower helps us to do so. Not only can man bear this gaze, but this gaze invites us into a relationship with Him that offers salvation. We experience this salvation even upon earth, in the midst of living as members of the Church Militant. This salvation comes to fulfillment in Heaven, with what theologians call the “beatific vision”. Seeing the Lord on earth comes through faith in Jesus as the Son of God. Living in relationship with Him unto death leads to an everlasting vision of the Lord’s glory, which is to say, His Face.