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Mar 30, 2021 234 Father Augustine Wetta O.S.B,
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What Does God Look Like?

My monastery runs a school, and last year, I was given the great honor of teaching Theology to seventh-graders.  I had twenty-two of them for the last period of class every day of the week.  Now, no teacher in his right mind would ever choose to teach any subject during the last period of the day, and seventh graders trump every other grade in the school for sheer excitability.  So we invented a game called “Stump the Monk” which we would play for the last five minutes of class if the whole group was very, very good.

The best “monk-stumper” I ever heard came from a spunky, freckled little firebrand named Chad: “If Jesus loves us so much,” he said, “then why doesn’t he just come down and show himself to us?”

“Jesus does show himself to us,” I told him, “every time we receive the Eucharist.”

“Right. Right.”  He answered with a sigh, “but what I’m asking is: Why doesn’t he personally, physically come down and visit us?”

“He does!” I replied, “In the Eucharist he personally, physically comes down and visits us.”

“That’s not what I mean,” he said, “I want to know why he doesn’t make personal, face-to-face appearances to people like me.”

“Well he does that too,” I said, “You just have to be patient.”

Chad wasn’t going to be put off that easily, I could tell.  “So you’re telling me,” he said, “that you have personally, physically, met Jesus Christ face-to-face.  You’ve seen him.  You’ve personally seen God.”

I looked him in the eye and I said, “Yes, Chad, I have.”

“Fine!” he said, “Then what does he look like?”

There was a nervous silence in the classroom as he and the other students waited for my answer.  And for a moment or two, I was a little afraid I was going to have to back down.  But the answer came to me like a gift from heaven.  “Chad,” I said, “I have met Jesus.  Face to face. And you know what?  He looks a lot like you.”

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Father Augustine Wetta O.S.B

©Father Augustine Wetta O.S.B

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