A prayer/meditation by Papa Benedetto
the first Apostles recognized you as the Son of God,
the expected and promised Messiah for the salvation of the world,
when you asked them: "Who are you looking for?"
and they accepted your invitation, "Come and see!"
Like them, we too, your disciples, want to follow you
and be your friends in this difficult time -
drawn near by the splendor of your longed for and hidden face.
Show you, we ask of you, your ever-new face,
mysterious mirror of the unending mercy of God.
Let us focus on it with the eyes of the spirit and the heart:
in the face of the Son, reflection of the splendor of the Father and mirror of his being.
The human face of God, who stepped into history
in the glow of the horizons of eternity.
Silent face of the suffering and risen Jesus!
Loved and accepted it changes heart and life."
Your face, Lord, I seek. Do not hide your face from me." (Psalm 27,8)
How often this consuming outcry of the Psalmist
has sounded to you through the course of centuries and millennia !
Lord, we too repeat with confidence this call:
"Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him" -
do not hide your face from us !
Your eyes rest upon us with tenderness and mercy.
Let us gain the strength of love and peace from them,
which shows us the way of life and the courage
to follow you without fear and compromise
in order to become witnesses of your Gospel
with active signs of devotion, love and forgiveness.
Holy face of Christ,
Light that illuminates the shadows of doubt and sorrow,
Life that forever has broken the power of evil and death,
mysterious gaze that ceases not to rest on people and nations,
hidden face in the Eucharistic symbols, and in the looks of
our neighbors, make us pilgrims of God in this world,
thirsting for the unending, ready for the encounter on the Last Day,
when we will see you, Lord, face to face and will be allowed
to forever see the magnificence of Heaven.
Mary, mother of the Holy Face,
help us to have "innocent hands and a pure heart":
Hands, transfigured by the truth of love
Hearts, consumed with God's beauty,
So that we, changed by the encounter with Christ,
Will give ourselves to our brothers without reserve,
especially to the poor and the suffering,
in whose faces the mystery of the hidden presence
of your son Jesus is reflected,
Who lives and reigns with you for ever and ever,