Human hands have held great power for all eternity. It is a hand that signs a bill into law or a prisoner over to be executed. Hands have reached out to shake another hand in friendship but have also pulled the trigger of a rifle in hatred or stabbed a person to death.
Hands have caressed a lover's cheek or held a baby tenderly aloft. But have also abused children and pushed others away.
I know I've failed to use my hands when I'm too scared to touch the homeless or write that letter to someone who I need to ask for forgiveness. Even as my hands type this entry I wonder if my hands are truly doing the will of God.
Jesus knows all about hands. His hands reached out to those who nobody dared to touch. He healed with his hands, spitting into mud and opening the eyes of the blind. He blessed bread with his hands and the food was miraculously shared by 10,000 more hands who would've gone hungry. He even caused others to re-think their own use of their hands as the stones fell from the hands of those who were accusing the woman caught in the act of adultery.
His hands offered bread to be His body and wine to be His blood. He washed the dirty filthy feet of the disciples with his own hands knowing that these feet he was washing were indeed going to run from Him soon.
His hands were shackled, bound and finally pierced; nailed to the wood of the cross. Those mighty hands once so powerful now seem to be completely useless in the horror of the crucifixion.
But it is later when Thomas doubts that Jesus is truly risen that it is Jesus' hands that he sees. Those same hands that had once called Thomas to be a disciple. The same hands that slapped him on the back or handed John a piece of bread to inform him of his betrayer. These are the familiar hands of Christ...and Thomas sees the scars of the cross and is ashamed that he had run away and moreover refused to believe that these hands of Jesus were real and human once again.
These hands of Jesus are now our hands. And while our own hands are at times scarred and calloused from years of hard work, pain and anguish, we still have an opportunity each day to use our hands for some good.
Who can we reach out to this day? Who needs a hand? Who can we applaud for doing a good job? Who can we write a letter of support to just to let them know we are thinking of them? Who simply needs an embrace?
We need to remember our hands are often all we have. Let us pray with this music video below that our hands indeed can be the hands of Christ and that just as our priest's hands bring Christ to us in the Eucharist at mass, we too, can bring Christ to others with the actions of our hands. Amen.
Pause for Prayer: TUESDAY 4/25
9 hours ago