To See Thy Face, O Lord!
March 15, 2020
The small chapel commemorating the sixth station on the Via Dolorosa will always remain an everlasting memory for me. I have always wondered how privileged Veronica was to see and touch our Lord’s wounded face. Jesus was continuing along that sorrowful path to Calvary. On that bloody path, he was comforted by Veronica, who was ready to run to our Lord Jesus. Nothing stopped her from running to our Lord and comforting him in his agony. How blessed her hands were to touch the blood that was to wash away all our sins.
I’m sure that Veronica would remember those moments until the very end of her life. The cloth with Jesus’s face imprinted on it would have been her greatest treasure, one that would have kindled her faith. This episode in Veronica’s life, however, reminds me of the real presence of our Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Even though this was a onetime event for Veronica, we are privileged to see on the altar, the ever-living bruised face of our Lord every single day.
The sacrifice of the Mass enables us to experience his presence in a very concrete way in the Holy Eucharist. If we see his presence in the Holy Eucharist, it will leave behind an imprint in our hearts that will remain in us for the rest of our lives. If we can experience his presence, then we too can preserve that memory, the same as Veronica’s cloth.
However, to see his face in this great bread of the altar, we need the supernatural gift of faith, a gift that is freely given if we seek it. There is nothing that we can “do” to see his face but to ask God for that gift. God, who knows even the smallest whispers of our heart, will understand our desire to see him. He can change our unbelief to belief if we truly pray for that to happen in our lives.
However, added to that is the need to purify our hearts in order to receive this special gift. May this Lenten season be a time for us to examine our lives and ask for repentance. May God give all of us the gift of faith that arises from true metanoia, enabling us to see his face.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” (Matthew 5:8)
Ankit Jose Mathews
Syro–Malabar Archdiocese of Kottayam