Gaze of Jesus

Someone said that " the eyes are the mirror of the soul. " I am thinking about the gaze of Jesus and I can see in it His heart. A heart meek, humble, merciful, full of love and compassion, always with the disposition of given himself, a heart that serve, a heart full of faith, hope and charity. The gaze of Jesus is all of this.

The Lord in his message to Love Crucified, 3/1/11:

My children, climb the steps of My feet, My side, My Heart to reach the gaze of My crucified eyes. It is My gaze that will pierce your hearts and heal all pride, self-love and vanity. It is My gaze that will awaken your hearts to love Love Itself. It is through My crucified gaze that you will find the courage to continue in the path of life. It is through My crucified gaze that you will receive the revelations of the mystery of suffering, which is the mystery of love. It is through My crucified gaze that you will desire to be One with The Victim of Love, in which you will desire solely the Cross, in which you will desire the salvation of all your brothers and sisters and forget yourself, in which you will receive the power of the Holy Spirit to lay down your life as My sacrifice of love for the salvation of many (3/1/11).

The blind man of Jericho (Mc 10,46-52) said, «Master, let me see again!».
We must do the same!

Allowing ourselves to be looked upon by Jesus, whose gaze changes our lives
Pope Francis on Feast of Conversion of St. Matthew. Sept 21, 2015 >>> 

Jesus looks Matthew – a tax collector, a public sinner whose whole life was money, which he idolized – right in the eye. Then, [Matthew feels] in his heart the gaze of the Lord who looked upon him: That gaze overtook him completely, it changed his life. We say he was converted. He Changed his life. ‘As soon as he felt that gaze in his heart, he got up and followed him.’ This is true: Jesus’ gaze always lifts us up. It is a look that always lifts us up, and never leaves you in your place, never lets us down, never humiliates. It invites you to get up - a look that brings you to grow, to move forward, that encourages you, because [the One who looks upon you] loves you. The gaze makes you feel that He loves you. This gives the courage to follow Him: ‘And he got up and followed him.’"

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. Then he looked at the Good Thief, and once again to Peter, "[who was] afraid, after the Resurrection, with those three questions: ‘Do you love me?’ - a look that shamed him.

The Pope said it will do us well to think and pray about this gaze of Jesus, and to let ourselves be looked on by Him.

Jesus goes to the house of Matthew as he was sitting at the table many sinners arrive. Word had spread, and all of society - but not the [respectable folks] - felt invited to lunch, as it happened in the parable of the king who ordered the servants to go to the main crossroads to invite to his son’s wedding as many people as they met, both good and bad:

And sinners, tax collectors and sinners, they felt that Jesus had looked on them and that gaze of Jesus upon them – I believe – was like a breath on embers, and they felt that there was fire in the belly, again, and that Jesus made lifted them up, gave them back their dignity. The gaze of Jesus always makes us worthy, gives us dignity. It is a generous look. But behold, what a teacher: dining with the dregs of the city!’: But beneath that dirt there were the embers of desire for God, the embers of God's image that wanted someone who could help them be kindled anew. This is what the gaze of Jesus does.

All of us, in our lives have felt this gaze, and not once only: many times! Perhaps the person of a priest, who taught us doctrine or forgave our sins, perhaps in the help of friends.

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!

Gaze of the Crucified Jesus
Pope Francis, Assisi, Oct 4, 2013 (excerpts) Highlighted for LC study.  full text

The first thing he (St. Francis) tells us is this: that being a Christian means having a living relationship with the person of Jesus; it means putting on Christ, being conformed to him.

Where did Francis’s journey to Christ begin? It began with the gaze of the crucified Jesus. With letting Jesus look at us at the very moment that he gives his life for us and draws us to himself. Francis experienced this in a special way in the Church of San Damiano, as he prayed before the cross which I too will have an opportunity to venerate. On that cross, Jesus is depicted not as dead, but alive! Blood is flowing from his wounded hands, feet and side, but that blood speaks of life. Jesus’ eyes are not closed but open, wide open: he looks at us in a way that touches our hearts. The cross does not speak to us about defeat and failure; paradoxically, it speaks to us about a death which is life, a death which gives life, for it speaks to us of love, the love of God incarnate, a love which does not die, but triumphs over evil and death. When we let the crucified Jesus gaze upon us, we are re-created, we become "a new creation". Everything else starts with this: the experience of transforming grace, the experience of being loved for no merits of our own, in spite of our being sinners. That is why Saint Francis could say with Saint Paul: "Far be it for me to glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Gal 6:14).

We turn to you, Francis, and we ask you: Teach us to remain before the cross, to let the crucified Christ gaze upon us, to let ourselves be forgiven, and recreated by his love.

2. In today’s Gospel we heard these words: "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart" (Mt 11:28-29).

This is the second witness that Francis gives us: that everyone who follows Christ receives true peace, the peace that Christ alone can give, a peace which the world cannot give. Many people, when they think of Saint Francis, think of peace; very few people however go deeper. What is the peace which Francis received, experienced and lived, and which he passes on to us? It is the peace of Christ, which is born of the greatest love of all, the love of the cross. It is the peace which the Risen Jesus gave to his disciples when he stood in their midst (cf. Jn 20:19-20).

Three Manners of Gaze
Pope Francis, excerpt of his¨Daily Meditations¨ Friday, 22 May 2015 >>>

Today while praying”, the Pope confided, “it came to my heart, it came to me how Jesus looked at Peter”. And in the Gospel, Francis added, “I found three different manners of Jesus’ gaze upon Peter”.

The first, the Pope noted, is found “at the beginning of the Gospel according to John, when Andrew goes to his brother Peter and says to him: “We have found the Messiah”. And “he brings him to Jesus”, who “fixes his gaze on him and says: ‘You are Simon, son of John. You shall be called Peter”. This is “the first gaze, the gaze of the mission” which will be explained “further ahead in Caesarea Philippi”. There, Jesus says: “‘You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my Church’: this will be your mission”.

The Pope continued, explaining that “in the meantime, Peter has become an enthusiast of Jesus: he follows Jesus. Let us remember that passage from the Sixth Chapter of the Gospel according to John, when Jesus speaks of eating his body and so many disciples say at that moment: ‘This is hard, this word is difficult’”. Thus, “they begin to withdraw”. Jesus then “looks at the disciples and says: ‘Do you want to leave too?’”. And it is “Peter who responds: ‘No! Where would we go? You alone have the words of eternal life!’”. This is “the enthusiasm of Peter”. Thus, Francis explained, “there is the first gaze: the vocation and the first declaration of the mission”. And, “how is Peter’s spirit under that first gaze? Enthusiastic”. It is his “first time to go with the Lord”.

Then, the Pope added, “I thought of the second gaze”. We find it “late at night on Holy Thursday, when Peter wants to follow Jesus and approaches where He is, in the house of the priest, in prison, but he is recognized: “‘No, I don’t know him!’”. He denies Him “three times”. Then “he hears the cock crow and remembers: he denied the Lord. He lost everything. He lost his love”. Precisely “in that moment, Jesus is led to another room, across the courtyard, and fixes his gaze on Peter”. The Gospel of Luke recounts that “Peter cried bitterly”. Thus, “that enthusiasm to follow Jesus has become remorse, for he has sinned, he has denied Jesus”. However, “that gaze transforms Peter’s heart, more than before”. Thus “the first transformation is the change of name and of vocation. Instead “the second gaze is a gaze that changes the heart and is a change of conversion to love”.

“We don’t know what the gaze was like in that encounter, alone, after the Resurrection”, Francis stated. “We know that Jesus encountered Peter, the Gospel says, but we don’t know what they said”. Therefore, the narrative in today’s liturgy “is a third gaze: the confirmation of the mission; but also the gaze in which Jesus asks for confirmation of Peter’s love”. Indeed “three times — three times! — Peter had denied” Him; and now the Lord “for the third time asks him to show his love”. And “each time, when Peter says yes, that he loves Him, he loves Him, He gives him the mission: ‘Feed my lambs, tend my sheep’”. Moreover, at the third question — “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” — Peter “was grieved, nearly weeping”. He was sorry because “for the third time” the Lord “asked him, ‘Do you love me?’”. And he answered Him: “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you”. And Jesus replied: “Feed my sheep”. This is “the third gaze: the gaze of the mission”.

Francis then returned to the essence of the Lord gazing three times at Peter: “The first, the gaze of the choice, with the enthusiasm to follow Jesus; the second, the gaze of remorse at the moment of that sin so great of having denied Jesus; the third gaze is the gaze of mission: ‘Feed my lambs, tend my sheep, feed my sheep”. But “it doesn’t end there: you did this for love and then? Will you receive a crown? No”. Instead, the Lord stated clearly: “I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go”. As if to say: “You too, like me, will be in that courtyard where I fixed my gaze on you, near the cross”.

The Pope then proposed an examination of conscience on this point. “We too can consider: how does Jesus gaze at me today? How does Jesus look at me? With a call? With forgiveness? With a mission?”. We are certain that “on the path that He made, we all are under Jesus’ gaze: He always looks at us with love, asks us for something, forgives us for something and gives us a mission”.

Before continuing the celebration — “now Jesus comes to the altar” he recalled — Pope Francis invited prayer: “Lord, you are here, among us. Fix your gaze upon me and tell me what I am to do; how must I lament my mistakes, my sins; what is the courage with which I must go forth on the path that you took first”. And “during this Eucharistic sacrifice” it is important “that we have this dialogue with Jesus”. Then, he concluded, “it will do us good to think throughout the day of Jesus’ gaze upon me”.

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