V/. Adoramus te, Christe, et benedicimus tibi.
From the Book of the Prophet Isaiah. 53:2-3
He had no form or comeliness that we should look at him, and no beauty that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
From the Book of Psalms. 27:8-9
You have said, “Seek my face”. My heart says to you, “Your
face, Lord, do I seek”. Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away
in anger, you who have been my help. Cast me not off, forsake me not, O God of
“Your face, Lord, do I seek. Hide not your face from me” (Ps
27:8-9). Veronica – Bernice, in the Greek tradition – embodies the universal
yearning of the devout men and women of the Old Testament, the yearning of all
believers to see the face of God. On Jesus’ Way of the Cross, though, she at
first did nothing more than perform an act of womanly kindness: she held out a
facecloth to Jesus. She did not let herself be deterred by the brutality of
the soldiers or the fear which gripped the disciples. She is the image of that
good woman, who, amid turmoil and dismay, shows the courage born of goodness
and does not allow her heart to be bewildered. “Blessed are the pure in
heart”, the Lord had said in his Sermon on the Mount, “for they shall see God”
(Mt 5:8). At first, Veronica saw only a buffeted and pain-filled face.
Yet her act of love impressed the true image of Jesus on her heart: on his
human face, bloodied and bruised, she saw the face of God and his goodness,
which accompanies us even in our deepest sorrows. Only with the heart can we
see Jesus. Only love purifies us and gives us the ability to see. Only love
enables us to recognize the God who is love itself.
Lord, grant us restless hearts, hearts which seek your face. Keep us from the blindness of heart which sees only the surface of things. Give us the simplicity and purity which allow us to recognize your presence in the world. When we are not able to accomplish great things, grant us the courage which is born of humility and goodness. Impress your face on our hearts. May we encounter you along the way and show your image to the world.
Pater noster, qui es in cælis:
Pro peccatis suæ gentis
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