How many luminous faces, how many smiles, how many wrinkles, how many tears and scars reveal love around us!
Just one verse each day.
Pope Francis is encouraging us to find love all around us, in the “luminous faces” of those who love us, marked by smiles, wrinkles, tears, and scars — the “beauty on the faces of the people who walk beside us every day” — which can fill our hearts.
The Holy Father drew this reflection from Sunday’s Gospel, which presented the scene of Christ’s Transfiguration on the mountain. Peter wanted to “stop time” and “‘pause’ the scene” to “prolong this marvelous experience.” But Jesus, the Pope said, doesn’t allow this. He doesn’t reduce his light to a “magical moment.”
It would thus become something false, artificial, something that would dissolve into the fog of passing sentiment. On the contrary, Christ is the light that orients our journey like the pillar of fire for the people in the wilderness (Ex 13:21). Jesus’ beauty does not alienate his disciples from the reality of life, but gives them the strength to follow him all the way to Jerusalem, all the way to the cross. Christ’s beauty is not alienating. It always brings you forward. It does not make you hide. Go forward!
Remain with him
The Pope said this Gospel teaches us to “remain with Jesus,” even when “it is not easy to understand everything he says and does for us.”
When we remain with him, stay with him, “we learn to recognize on his face the luminous beauty of love he gives us, even when it bears the marks of the cross.”
And, the Pope added, “it is in his school that we learn to see the same beauty on the faces of the people who walk beside us every day – family, friends, colleagues who take care of us in the most varied ways.”
How many luminous faces, how many smiles, how many wrinkles, how many tears and scars reveal love around us! Let us learn to recognize them and to fill our hearts with them. And then let us set out in order to bring the light we have received to others as well, through concrete acts of love (cf. 1 Jn 3:18), diving into our daily occupations more generously — loving, serving, and forgiving with greater earnestness and willingness. The contemplation of God’s wonders, the contemplation of God’s face, of the Lord’s face, must move us to the service of others.