The Face of the Blessed Mother

Let’s face it. This is an important day. (January 1) Honoring the Blessed Mother with a clear vision because it’s 2020 time.

For a whole year, we heighten our vision. The way we look at things. The ways we perceive when perceptions are deceiving. The way we can judge others when there’s no trail. Be amazed either for the first time or the umpteenth time at the simplest of things. Go ahead and let your friends think that you’ve lost it.

Let’s face it. Shakespeare wrote, “God gave you one face, and you make yourself another.” Sin and mistakes can be wonderful events, only if we learn and live through them. So go ahead and fall flat on your face. Another quote says, “Falling on your face, at the very least, is a step forward.” Never giving up and doing an about-face but taking grace-filled next step forward. If not falling, then sometimes we all need a good slap in the …

The first face the child Jesus sees, the face of his mother. What kind of face is she making looking down at his face? Smiling? Relief? Wonder at this wonderful birth? Wonder about what kind of life this newborn will have?

How about our faces? Another quote says, “The face is more honest than the mouth will ever be.” They call them “tells.” You can tell if I’m lying to you if while speaking I touch my nose or look down. How many other “tells” that we’re not even aware of but detect in conversations. The face cannot lie.

Just observe the faces of older adults and you’ll see their whole life. Complete with wrinkles and lines that exhibit a fully lived life. Pity those botox folks who nip and tuck away their earned faces, as though they’re a cat with eight of them left.

The face of the Blessed Mother shows us all how to live our lives. It’s as plain as the nose on your face. She treasured all things in her heart. (Not her mind, mind you, but within her heart.) The pagan god of which January is named after has two faces, the past, and the future. When we say that “your two-faced,” it’s calling you a liar. When said about Mary, it means that all the significant past events of her life are kept safely stored away. And, always with an eye toward an unknown but trusting future.

At face value, what better way to begin a new year than with the face of Mary, as best as we can imagine her, guiding our steps and showing us the way to her Son, the God/Man.

Forget the words. I can tell by faces greeting people after Mass. “Nice sermon, Father.” I smile to myself because Deacon Carlos preached. It’s all captured in the face.

Another quote, “A face is like the outside of a house, and most faces, like most houses, give us an idea of what we can expect to find inside.”

She saw his promising face at birth and so few years later wept looking at his vacant face. The meeting of those two faces truly makes this day solemn and special.

Let’s face the facts. Please trust me on this, I’m not just another pretty face. (I couldn’t resist!) The Blessed Mother witnesses for us the faces of the world. She shows us how to look into the face of another person the way she looked into her son’s. To quote a Broadway play, “To love another person is to see the face of God.” With a clear 2020 vision may this year be guided for us by the continuing protection and console of Mary, the one we call Blessed Virgin.

About Rev. Joe Jagodensky, SDS.

A Roman Catholic priest since 1980 and a member of the Society of the Divine Savior (Salvatorians). Six books on the Catholic church and U.S. culture are available on
This entry was posted in Blessed Virgin Mary, Spirituality. Bookmark the permalink.

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