1.) Man is given life in his soul when God looks upon the face of Adam. (Genesis 2:7)
2.) Consequently, after the fall, the first thing man did was hide from God's face. Just as important as realizing they were naked was the hiding of their face from God. Up until that point, the race of man gazed upon God face to face. (Genesis 3:8)
3.) As Cain leaves with the mark for murdering Abel, he "went out from the face of the Lord, and dwelt as a fugitive on the earth." (Genesis 4:6)
4.) Jacob compares the companionship he now feels with his estranged brother Esau "as if I should have seen" the face of God. (Genesis 33:10) In other words, beholding God's face is the sign of a perfect communion.
5.) To speak "face to face" in the Old Testament is merely an allegory for a deeply personal relationship. (Exodus 33:11) Like Moses, man longs to see the face of God. (33:13) Yet due to sin, we cannot see the face of God, but only "the back parts." (33:23) A far better understanding of this is that on earth, man can only see God in a limited way. Yet even this limitation has a profound impact on Moses life. (His face shines bright.)
6.) In his first sermon, Peter uses as proof of Christ's ultimate dominion over all in that he not only sits at the right hand of the Father, but that He looks upon the Father face to face. A mere descendant of Adam cannot do this. (Acts 2:25)
7.) St. Paul describes the height of spiritual maturity as the day when he sees God face to face. (1 Cor 13:12)
8.) Just as with the Churches John writes to, "that your joy may be complete", God will speak to man face to face in the end. (Revelation 22:4)
9.) St. John of the Cross describes this meeting face to face as such:
I stayed there to forget.In other words, when Christ and Man gaze face to face, all of this world fades away, and the new eternity in heaven begins where Christ and the race of Man are Bridge and Bridegroom. John Paul II teaches likewise when he states that celibacy for the sake of the kingdom signifies something:
There on my lover, face to face, I lay.
All ended, and I let
My cares all fall away
Forgotten in the lilies on that day.
In him there will be revealed, I would say, the absolute and eternal nuptial meaning of the glorified body in union with God himself through the "face to face" vision of him, and glorified also through the union of a perfect intersubjectivity. This will unite all who participate in the other world, men and women, in the mystery of the communion of saints.10.) As a sign of this reality on earth, during the sacrament of matrimony, the Bridegroom pulls back the veil of the bride, as a sign that he can now look upon her as she was meant to be, pure and spotless. That husband and wife are now meant to have that communion we strive for with God (at least on a human level), and that this will even be a path by which we arrive to that moment with God!
John Paul II did his doctoral thesis on St. John of the Cross, and his Wednesday audiences were primarily a philosophical exegesis of the first few chapters of Genesis, where the emphasis of the face is at its strongest. In other words, maybe there is something to the claim. Maybe all the focus on nudity (to the point where we it is imperative to portray Mary as big chested) misses the point not just of the Wednesday audiences, but of the Gospel entirely.
There is really something to mine here for material, and hopefully someone more talented than myself does it.