February 2021

LORD, SHOW ME YOUR FACE, SHOW ME YOUR WAYS AND GUIDE ME TO MY DESTINATION

This month, we celebrate a day of love and friendship, Saint Valentine’s Day. It is nice to talk about love. But today, the world is eager, as never before, to experience true love, the kind of love that makes life meaningful.

Every morning, part of my prayer is the title of this letter. And I want to invite you too to reflect on what it means, it has to do with unconditional love and commitment.

Lord, show me your face

My request stems from my need to feel close to the Father’s unconditional Love; not having a father. We are all built, by nature, to need someone to love us and make us feel valued. And so, I contemplate Him to experience His presence in my life and the Love of the Father.

Moses asked the Lord, “now show me your Glory” (Ex 33:18). Why did Moses want to see the Glory of the Lord? This is what “see your face” means; it is the ability to feel the Lord close at hand because His proximity gives us courage and strength to face any challenge by leading us on the right path.

Wishing to see the face of the Lord is asking for reassurance to follow your path in life. When someone is in love, they feel safe and protected. No challenge will steal their motivation thanks to that love; love provides a supernatural strength to draw upon; that is what our heart is looking for and the reason we suffer when we do not have love in our life.

The Good News is that the greatest love of all is right in front of us. The Love of God that offers salvation through His Son. The Father has shown us His face in the person of His Son, Jesus.

Love is the face of God. The Apostle Philip said to Jesus: “show us the Father and that will be enough for us.” Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time?” (John 14: 8-9). If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.

Where do we see the face of the Lord? The face of the Lord is in those who suffer all around us “for I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink …” So, Jesus’ face, the Lord’s face is the face of those who suffer, of those in need; He is also seen in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. These are just some of the places where we can see the face of the Lord; He is close at hand and close to us, just ask “Lord, let me see your face.”

Show me Your Ways

King David proclaimed “show me Your ways, Lord, teach me Your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior.” (Psalms 25:4-5).

Thousands of paths exist in life and only one is not misleading. King David’s request relates to making good decisions every day, for each decision we make opens both a good and bad path. This is why I ask God to give me the wisdom to choose the right path; The Way. Satan is always displaying options that may appear attractive to us but in the end only lead to pain, suffering and death.

Jesus said, “I am The Way” (John 16:6). Jesus is the Path of Life which is Love. The essence of Life and Love is in Him. This is why the Father said “this is My beloved Son, listen to Him.”

When I was a young man, I searched for life and love in the things offered by the world, vices, illicit sex, pleasure, etc. but they proved hollow and left me with a huge void in my life; I dug a pit for myself through these decisions and then fell into it. Finally, I decided to see if I could find the way out of the pit I was in. Jesus, what my soul was so desperately looking for, He was close, so close in fact He was right in front of my face all this time; I just had to ask to see His face. I had an encounter with Him where I offered my life to Him and asked for forgiveness. Then, I began to see the world in a different way, to experience love differently, to love my loved ones in a more authentic way and to value life. In other words, I found The Way in Jesus. That is why I invite you to choose The Way too, the only way that will lead you to Eternal Life in Jesus, true Love, who gave His life for you; partake of it and experience true Love.

Jesus said, “Greater Love has no one than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). In this month I invite you to reflect on this verse. Saint Valentine, a priest, befriended the Roman Emperor Claudius II; at some point in their friendship the priest witnessed to the emperor Jesus’ Love for him. Enraged, (Roman emperors were considered gods) the emperor beheaded St. Valentine so that the saint could no longer ask the Lord, “show me your face”. Think about the privilege we have today to ask of the Lord this simple request and yet so many don’t; they just go about their way.

In this world, a wide array of paths are available that appear to contain happiness. So, ask Jesus every day to show you The Way, to see His face so you can choose wisely the path for your life that God intended and avoid being guided by your feelings. Choose The Way and you will see His blessings.

Lead me to my intended destiny

Saint Paul says “not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my destiny, but I press on…forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me to achieve in Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12 -14).

Life is a race, and many do not know where they will stop. But like Saint Paul, we need to be on the right path, The Way, in order to finish the race and win the prize. The Apostle to the Gentiles compares following Christ with sports so that we can better understand the value of what God offers to us through His Son Jesus.

Having run several marathons I can tell you, that at the start, everybody is willing to make it to the finish line. However, as time goes by, many stop and drop from the race due to fatigue, injury or poor planning; they have lost their vision of the race. Saint Paul is calling us to cry out “Lord, show me your face” so we never lose our vision of life and the prize God has set before us to win.

My first marathon was a great learning experience. At many points along the way, I thought that my body would give up and that I would not finish the race. However, I felt motivated by remembering the distance I had already covered and the vision set before me to finish the race.

Life is like running a marathon. There are time, if we are not praying without ceasing, when we may be left at the side of the road in the race of Life. Our enemy, Satan, displays a thousand tricks to keep us from reaching the finish line, our destiny; which is the prize. But as Saint Paul puts it “I forget what was left behind and run to the finish line.” Let us leave behind what causes pain and grudges. Let us say Lord show me Your face and continue the race of life to cross the finish line set for us.

I remember the wonderful experience of seeing the finish line in the distance and then, in the blink of an eye, crossing it. A shot of energy and happiness over took me and my success was clinched in an instant. You too will make it to the finish line if you simply ask the Lord to show you His face. Saint Paul says “… being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion” (Philippians 1:6). This is the approach today’s world needs to be transformed by God’s Love and it all begins with you.

May God bless you and show the finish line

To you, a recipient of this letter, wherever you are, I want to tell you that God is Love. That God has always Loved you; He wants you to be fulfilled and happy when you cross the finish line that He has set for you; don’t ever doubt this.

I also want to thank you for all your support of this work of Faith aimed at taking the Love of God to the world, that is the vision God has set before ESNE, a vision you share in. May God bless you abundantly as together we run this race! Our vision is that none shall perish but all are save. This is my prayer for you. Today, the race we are running together has reached 97 million of the 400 million Hispanics in the world or about 24% with the Love of God; this milestone keeps ESNE moving forward to finish the race and cross the finish line by reaching 100%, our destination with your help. For those who are not part of the race I invite you to come run with us and be apart of this great marathon to reach the Spanish speaking world together in Christ’s Love during this month when we commemorate Love.

May God, Our Father show you His face and lead you safely and firmly to your destination in Christ Jesus; simply ask the Lord to show you The Way. May the cloak of the Virgin Mary, our Heavenly Mother protect you always. Amen.