Sunday, February 24, 2013

Second Sunday of Lent: “My heart repeats your invitation, ‘Seek my face!’ Your face I seek, O Lord. Do not hide your face from me.” (Psalm 27)


“Seek my face!” The heart of the psalmist repeats the Lord’s invitation that effuses trust, security, and strength in difficulties, and the certainty of contemplating Him always and everywhere. Then, even with trepidation and hesitation, he transforms the initiation into a prayer of a trustful heart, “You face I seek O Lord. Do not hide your face from me.”

It is a prayer that could have risen from the anguished heart of Abraham when he was invited to go out into the night, count the number of the stars, and entrust himself to the Lord’s promises. Abraham trusts and believes. The Lord accredits this to him as justice and establishes the Covenant with him (Cf Genesis 15). Thus Abraham becomes the father who, from generation to generation, indicates to his children the way of faith. Look at the heavens, seek the face of the Lord, entrust yourself to His word, and thus remain rooted in the Lord always (Cf Philippians 4: 1).

Perhaps the three apostles who were invited to go up the mountain where Jesus went to pray did not remember this prayer. Precisely while He was praying, His face changed aspect and His clothing became white and radiant. Two men appeared, Moses and Elijah, conversing with Him, speaking of His exodus. The disciples were evidently tired from the climb. Oppressed by sleep, they did not hear the Master’s prayer. Only upon awaking did they see His glory. While the two men are speaking with Him, Peter proposes to build three tents, without being fully aware of what he was saying. As soon as the cloud covered them with its shade, he and the others were afraid. Then, even without being asked or commanded, they remained silent afterward and did not tell anyone about what they had seen.

However, they kept the vision in their mind and the voice that came from the cloud, “This is my Son, my beloved, listen to Him!” This is like the psalmist’s invitation to cease stopping at the fears and anguish of the moment, but to seek His face that radiates the light to illumine the way. It reconfirms trust, strengthens hope, and sustains us in our loving adhesion to His will, even when this leads us to contemplate the face of the Crucified Lord.

Today in my pause for silent contemplation, I will renew my trust in the Lord and my determination to seek His face always, everywhere, and in everyone.

Great and faithful God, who reveals Your face to those who seek it with a sincere heart, strengthen my faith in the mystery of the Cross and give me a docile heart so that in my loving adhesion to Your will, I may follow You as a disciple of Christ Your Son.

The Voice of Pope Benedict XVI, Lenten Message 2013

Faith that becomes aware of God’s love revealed in Jesus’ pierced heart on the Cross arouses our love in return. This is the light, actually the only light, which always lights anew a dark world, and gives us the courage to live and to act.

- Living Scripture