For a full copy of the Newsletter please click on the link; Ordinary Time 28th Sunday 151017
What’s Written On Our Faces?
Growing up, when making a face to show my disapproval or some other emotion, I remember my mother saying to me “If the wind changes your face will stay like that”. I quickly changed my expression! Our faces reveal so much about ourselves and the longer we are on this journey called life the more our faces mirror who we are or who we have become. Think about it!
We are pretty much born without a face. When a baby is born, cute and adorable as the child may be, the newborn’s face exhibits very little in the way of individuality. A baby’s face tells little about the child’s personality and gives no indication of the kind of character the child will develop into. A baby’s beauty depends entirely on its genetic endowment.
But with each day and week and year of the child’s life, the face changes. It takes on its own “look,” reflecting the child’s growth and development and emerging personality. Don’t just take my word for it, look at some of your old photos of yourself! It all culminates around the age of forty when, finally, a person has the essential lines of his or her “own” face. From forty onward, our faces manifest individuality, character, and a beauty-beyond-genes.
What is important about all of this is what, in the end, forms our faces. Up until the age of forty, genetics is dominant in how we look. The sad truth is that we can be the meanest, most small-minded person in our Cathedral Parish and still look beautiful! But from middle-age on, we look like what we believe in: if I am anxious, petty, selfish, bitter, narrow minded and self-centred, my face will show it. Conversely, if I am warm, gracious, humble, and other-centred, my face will also show it.
The reason why I mention this is that this weekend’s Gospel is the parable of the wedding garment, where I think Jesus suggests the same idea. Our lives are composed of pieces of fabric that we struggle to sew and piece together to make a garment fitting to wear at God’s wedding banquet. This garment, like the making of our own faces, is “fitted” from our hurts, our fears and our pain. This garment mirrors our joys, our triumphs and the re-discovery of how loved we are by God.
Whether we are still on that journey heading towards that middle age point or we have passed it the fact remains that we have all been invited to the wedding feast – perhaps our response to God’s invitation is written on our faces!
Fr Peter Brannelly