Recently I was sent a prayer card and then the digital image taken and enhanced from the image on the Shroud of Turin.
Contemplating this gaze, in prayer, reading, meditation I kept asking Jesus to teach me anew.
Various notes from my reading, yes the famous scraps of paper I have mentioned or quoted in previous posts, have been places where I have found fragments of the answer.
For example Metropolitan Philaretes of Moscow, teaches us that: “The Father is crucifying love, the Son is crucified love, the Holy Spirit is the invincible love of the Cross.”
Immediately I recalled Jesus’ own words that whoever sees Him sees the Father!
In a word then if I contemplate any image, an icon, painting, statue of Jesus, before such tenderness and beauty, be it of Jesus on the Cross or Risen, of Sacred Heart or Divine mercy, most especially if I contemplate Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament – then before me too are the Father and the Holy Spirit.
The gaze upon us then is Trinitarian.
Bl. Pope John Paul notes that: “In contemplating Christ’s face….on the Cross.”, we are before sacred mystery, moved to adoration, love, gratitude, but we do not stop there for Jesus is Risen and “It is the Risen Christ to whom the Church now looks.”
Archbishop Martinez of holy memory notes that the gaze of Jesus is priestly and is the look of one who loves and “..is immolated for the glory of the Father, one who implores graces for souls.”
There is within me, perhaps within you, a natural yearning to ‘see’ Jesus face to face – and no not in some vision, that’s like looking at a hologram – ethereal. You can’t hug a hologram nor be held by one.
Nah I’d like to see Jesus in the flesh, see in the beauty of His eyes, which are the colour of glory, a reflection of the tender gaze towards me of the Father and the Holy Spirit, experience in the depths of my being the closeness of Jesus’s gaze.
He answers that desire 24/7, as the saying goes, for since Jesus says whatever we do to one another is done to Him, for Him, Jesus is of many disguises, thus we encounter Him in each other, are caught up into His tender and love gaze through the eyes of those we meet.
To know the real beauty of His Face, of the Face of the Triune God, I must ask to have the eyes of Jesus, to see every human being as He sees.
Yes, to contemplate any image of Jesus is to open my heart to everyone, to see as Jesus sees, to love and rejoice as He does in the presence of beauty, the beauty of each human being in the image and likeness of God.