Wednesday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
The prayer transforms us
As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord. When Aaron, then, and the other Israelites saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they were afraid to come near him … Moses then spoke to them …When he finished speaking with them, he put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses entered the presence of the Lord to converse with him, he removed the veil until he came out again. On coming out, he would tell the Israelites all that had been commanded. Then the Israelites would see that the skin of Moses’ face was radiant; so he would again put the veil over his face until he went in to converse with the Lord. Ex 34,29-35
It is written in the Genesis that “God created man in his image” (Gn 1,27). The image of God, imprinted on humans, involves all the aspects of his life: thoughts, feelings, actions, words and faces. It is not a still and immutable immage, like the one which a painter gives to the portrait of a person. It is a vivid image, a kind of spiritual pigmentation which allows the awakening or the becoming sleepy of the divine aspects, depending on how the man exposes himself to the presence of God. Most of the exposure occurs during the prayer: in that moment the thoughts, the feelings, the actions, the words and, consequently, the man’s face come closer to God reproducing the God’s image, even if a bit deformed because of the sin. However, the more the man exposes himself to God, the more his spiritual pigmentation allows him to assume the divine connotations. That is why Moses, after having been long time with the Lord on Mount Sinai, “when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, the skin of his face had become radiant”. Moses was a man of great prayer and his spirituality was enhanced with the time, so we can imagine the brightness of his face when he came down from the mountain to return to the field of Israel. They, who remained down in the valley to quarrel each other and to build the golden calf, “noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they were afraid to come near him…. “. Moses comprehended the mission to make his people growing in the faith, but gradually, not to offend them with so much diversity. So, after talking with the Lord, “he put a veil over his face. Whenever Moses entered the presence of the Lord to converse with him, he removed the veil until he came out again”. I think this is what we have to do, too, after our morning prayer: we must cover our face by a veil so that the received light, leaking through the words and the works, gently enlightens the people we meet during the day. We can imagine how bright the Jesus face was when he was transfigured on the Mount Tabor, with the spiritual pigmentation of being the Son of God without sin.