According to the New York Times, “After 19 minutes of dueling, with four bidders on the telephone and one in the room, Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Salvator Mundi’ sold … for $450.3 million with fees, shattering the high for any work of art sold at auction. It far surpassed Picasso’s ‘Women of Algiers,’ which fetched $179.4 million at Christie’s in May 2015.” While the exact motivation for the record breaking bid is unknown, it nevertheless points to a deep longing we all have to see the face of Jesus.
Saint Augustine put it best, “You made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” We seek happiness in this world in many different ways, pursuing many different paths, but all fall short.
This is clearly evident during this time of the year, when commercials and advertisements repeatedly try to entice us with the latest gadgets or clothes, claiming that these materials things will make us truly happy. Yet, the day after Christmas we still feel an emptiness inside of us, a longing for something more.
David relates this same feeling in the Psalms.
O God, you are my God—
it is you I seek!
For you my body yearns;
for you my soul thirsts,
In a land parched, lifeless,
and without water. (Psalm 63:2)
The world and all its allurements can not satisfy our hungry heart. We long for something more and what we truly seek, in the depths of who we are, is the face of Jesus. We long to see our Lord beautiful and resplendent, beckoning us to come and be with him for all eternity.
As we start our preparations for the beautiful celebration of Christmas, let us reflect on our deep seated longing for Christ and imagine his face before us. What does his face look like? How does he behold us? Hold on to that image and let it fill your heart with the true and lasting joy only God can give.