Saturday, August 03, 2013

Let your face shine upon me

"May God be gracious to us and bless us;
may his face shine upon us.
So shall your way be known upon the earth,
your victory among all the nations."  (Psalm 67: 1 - 2)

Why did my heart latch onto this word as my scripture verse for today?  Because  this phrase   "His face shine upon us" catches my attention always and everywhere.  I noticed this phrase several years ago from the liturgy of the first of January, the Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God.  The word is contained in the first reading for the solemn Mass, the priestly blessing from Numbers 6:

"The LORD said to Moses:
Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them: This is how you shall bless the Israelites. Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace!"  (Numbers 6: 22 - 26)

I appropriated the blessing then and had repeated it in my own words before I leave my home.

Again, I find the same phrase coming after my favorite Psalm 31:16 in Psalm 31: 17:

"My destiny is in your hands;
rescue me from my enemies,
from the hands of my pursuers.

Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your mercy."  (Psalm 31: 16 - 17)

We find it also in that great Psalm that extols the word of God, Psalm 119.

"Let your face shine upon your servant;
teach me your statutes."  (Psalm 119: 135)

With all the above, it is hardly surprising that I would jump on the phrase when I encountered it this morning.   I pray to Christ every time I leave my home thus, "Let your face shine upon me graciously and grant me abundant mercy, peace and prosperity.  Protect me from all evil and  anxiety.  Bless and protect Casa."  After this prayer, I always step out with confidence.

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