2013—a year to seek his face!
On 1 January, Feast of Mary, Mother of God, the first reading from the Book of Numbers recalls the form of calling down a blessing on the people in the Old Testament. The sons of Aaron were to ask God to “bless them and keep them, to show his face to them and to bring them peace”.
This image of seeking God’s face is a very powerful and beautiful image of the spiritual life and the Christian faith adventure. St John of the Cross once spoke of faith being a standing face to face with someone we love and trust but in the darkness—awaiting the dawn when we will see that face in its wholeness. It is a very beautiful image for what this whole adventure is all about.
As we begin this new year 2013, this might well be a very good theme for this year. We can seek the face of Christ throughout this year. In these days when the crib is still to the fore in our imagination and prayer, we might seek his face in the beauty and the freshness of the child, with all its simplicity and earnestness.
As we move into the ordinariness of life, we might seek his face in the faces of those with whom we live and work-our families and communities, our colleagues, the persons we meet in our daily existence, despite anonymity or even apparent hostility.
We might try to see his face also in those who suffer—those who are ill or depressed, those who mourn or are bereaved, those who carry the weight of years, those who carry the Cross for all of us in their daily struggle with existence. Seek his face also in the very beautiful moments of the year ahead—for those preparing for marriage, seek his face in the face of your loved one and build your future on a continued seeking of his face.
Seek his face in the beauty of art and literature—look at the beauty of God’s presence celebrated in places like Chartres or in other great monuments of faith. Seek his face in the world of business and education, in the world of sport and entertainment, in the world of work and industry.
Seeking his face is not an idle practice but the route to real peace. The more we seek his face, the more it will be revealed to us. This is our path to peace and wisdom. It is the highest call to authenticity—seek his face and let him show it to you in the unfolding of this year!