Easter is quickly approaching and in the remaining time in Lent we ask Our Lady to lead us to her Son. My friend, Julie Rodgers, made this powerful video for a talk about authentic encounter. Clips from the Passion of the Christ show the encounters of love between Mary and her Son and how the gaze of Christ has the power to change our hearts.
The video asks us “Have you experienced his gaze of love?” Going with Jesus into the desert during these 40 days is a way that we can recognize his gaze of love more strongly in our lives.
The gaze of Jesus, ‘[is not something] magical: Jesus was not a specialist in hypnosis.’ Jesus looked on everyone, and everyone felt His gaze upon him, as if Jesus had called each person by name … and this look would change the lives of everyone.’ So did Peter change, who, after denying his Lord then met His gaze and wept bitterly. Then there is the final gaze, from the Cross. ‘He looked on His mother, looked at the [beloved] disciple and said, with that look, he told us that His mother was our mother and that the Church is mother – with a look.Pope Francis
This look is stronger than any words and it can change our entire lives if we allow ourselves to be seen. The gaze of Jesus always draws us to him, moving us forward and away from our sin. When we feel close to or far from His gaze, Mary is the one who shows us the path.
Mother Teresa wrote to the Missionaries of Charity:
… [Our Lady] was the first person to hear Jesus’ cry ‘I Thirst’ with St. John, and I am sure Mary Magdalen. Because Our Lady was there on Calvary she knows how real, how deep is His longing for you and for the poor. Do we know? Do we feel as she? Ask her to teach… Her role is to bring you face to face, as John and Magdalen, with the love in the Heart of Jesus crucified.
As we enter the fifth week of Lent, this video reminds us that we need our Mother to be able to experience the gaze of Jesus at the foot of the cross. During the last days of Lent, we need Mary to teach us His longing for our hearts and to show us the path to Calvary.
The Pope continued in his homily:
But all of us find ourselves before that gaze, that marvelous gaze, and we go forward in life, in the certainty that He looks upon us. He too, however, awaits us, in order to look on us definitively – and that final gaze of Jesus upon our lives will be forever, it will be eternal. I ask all the saints upon whom Jesus has looked, to prepare us to let ourselves be looked upon in life, and that they prepare us also for that final – and first! – gaze of Jesus!
You can read the entirety of his homily about the merciful gaze of Jesus here: