Man as Epiphany…

The-Face-of-Christ1

“There once was a monk named Epiphanes. One day he discovered in himself a gift from God that he never suspected to possess: he could paint beautiful icons. However he wasn’t any more at peace: he wanted, at all costs, to portray the face of Christ. Where to find a suitable model that would express at the same time suffering and joy, death and resurrection, divinity and humanity? Epiphanes then set off on a journey. He traversed Italy, France, Germany, Spain, scrutinizing every face. Nothing. The face suitable to represent Christ was not there. Tired he fell asleep repeating the words of the psalm ‘Lord, I seek Your face. Show me your face!’ He then had a dream. An angel appeared to him who brought him back to the people he had met and for each person, pointed out the one detail that made that face similar to Christ: the joy of a lover, the innocence of a child, the strength of a farmer, the suffering of a patient, the fear of a condemned man, the tenderness of a mother, the dismay of an orphan, the hope of a young man, the joy of a jester, the mercy of a confessor, the mystery of the bandaged face of a leper … Epiphanes understood and returned to his monastery. He set to work and after a while the icon was ready and he presented it to his abbot. The abbot was astonished: it was wonderful. He wanted to know which model he had used because he wanted to show him to the other artists of the monastery. But Epiphanes said “Nobody, father, was the model because no one is equal to Christ, but Christ is similar to all. You cannot find Christ in the face of one man, but in every man is a fragment of the face of Christ. + Anonymous

Every person is an epiphany of God. He “hides” within each of us and we are invited to seek His face in the faces of all those brothers and sisters upon our path. Holy Spirit, teach us to recognize the many forms of Your presence in one another. Happy Feast of the Epiphany to all!

mirage

Stare at the four dots in the center of the picture for about 30 seconds. Then close your eyes. What do you see?

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