There is a wonderful, old story about the great Leonardo Da Vinci that I love. When Leonardo was painting the Last Supper it took him several years to complete it. He had decided to use live models for Christ and each of the twelve Apostles. He chose the model for Jesus first when he found a man whose face radiated both beauty and unconditional love. As the years went on Leonardo completed each of the Apostles except for Judas Iscariot. Finally, he found a man whose face seemed full of avarice, viciousness, deceit, and hypocrisy. After he finished painting the man as Judas, the man asked if Leonardo knew who he was. When Leonardo said no, the man replied, “I am the same man you painted years ago as the figure of Christ.”
Now while this story is almost certainly fiction it does reveal a spiritual truth. No matter how old or young we are, the appearance of our faces can often show the condition of our souls. I have seen rugged, scarred, weather-beaten faces that when they smiled still shown with the beauty of angels. I have also seen young, wrinkle free faces with eyes as cold as ice and bitter smiles full of both fear and hate.
The good news, however, is that it is never too late to change your face, your heart, and your life. It is never too late to fill your soul with love and let it shine through your eyes and actions. It is never too late to turn your anger creases into laugh lines.
I only hope that my own face no matter how old or wrinkled it gets is always the face of love. I hope it is a face of kindness, goodness, gentleness, helpfulness, hopefulness, and joyfulness. I hope it is a reflection of God’s love for us all. May your own life always sparkle with goodness and God. May your eyes always shine with the light of joy. And may everyone who looks at you always see a face full of love.
– Joseph MazzellaSKM: below-content placeholder