‘Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.’ – Hebrews 12:2
Recently, I offered a day of reflection to a local parish staff on the theme of Encountering God in the Ordinary. Part of the day’s focus was on this pithy passage above. As part of a series of stories I shared, I told them about an interview I once saw with a NASA engineer who studied the Shroud of Turin as part of the STURP project. He was allowed to spend an entire night alone with the Shroud while he studied it, and the next day he was asked in an interview if he had any special ‘experience’ during that time. He remarked, ‘No, I’m not a religious man; but what did strike me was this — the body of the man imaged on the shroud is terribly tortured, while the face is totally serene. It’s as if the face and the body don’t match.’
When I heard those words, this passage from Hebrews lit up my imagination. That face. In the midst of the chaos and pain and turmoil of the Passion, his face was serene, fixed on the Father.
When your life seems to look more like his body, fix your eyes on his Face.