In the genes

For most of us, it’s impossible to be around a newborn without playing the compulsory Guess-Who-The-Baby-Looks-Like Game. Now that Luke is here, family and friends are offering their opinions on the subject. A few people have said that Luke seems to take after me. I have to say, it’s tough for me to tell. Maybe I don’t have the distance — either from him or from myself — to really look at his features objectively. The same was true with Matthew as a newborn; I could see my husband in him far more easily than I could see myself.

But every now and then, there’s a little glimpse of something in Matthew’s face that brings to mind the photos of myself as a toddler. And I’m caught anew in the fascinating world of genetics, marveling that his features are an echo of mine. It’s mysterious and beautiful.

Maybe that’s why I like this quotation from Dante’s Divine Comedy. It’s a reference to Mary. The italics are mine:

Look now upon the face that most resembles Christ’s,

for only through its brightness

can you prepare your vision to see Him.

In Jesus’ face, we see Mary — and vice-versa. I have to say, I find that pretty mysterious … and very, very beautiful.

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