Which Hands Are Yours? |
Hand it to God and your hands will be in His Hands always.
"Just as our eyes reveal much about our minds and our soul, so too our hands can tell us much about how we see Christ in our lives, how we live our lives, and how we relate to others. Our hands touch just about everything, which may come before us in this life, yet do they bring the Touch of Christ to others and ourselves? Our hands hold many things as we go through our days, yet do they hold the love of Christ and the Banner of our True Faith proudly for all to see?"
Sunday's Gospel treats the event where the doubting Apostle will not believe unless he puts his hands in Christ's wounds in His hands. I began to think about that and the importance of these digital extensions that are so necessary for our everyday duties.
And so, as the glow of Easter and the notes of Alleluia begin to fade a bit with Easter Week winding down, we are faced with our yearly "New Life Resolutions" to make Christ's Passion and Resurrection have a lasting effect on our lives. To refocus properly, we might begin by looking at our hands. The typical reaction when someone asks us to look at our hands, of course, is a kind of surreal relapse into our childhood, where our mother would demand that we show her our hands to see if they were clean. Well, Mom does know best, because the eyes are not the only windows to the soul!
The Eleven Hands of the Passion
For the sake of brevity, we will begin by considering a pair of hands as just hands, for one of the first priorities of a good Catholic is for one hand to know what the other hand is doing! Given that context, we may look at the Ten Hands of The Passion to find the match for our hands.
- First, we have The Hands of Our Lord, which washed the feet of His followers in humble service and
- consecrated the bread and wine in giving us His Body and Blood.
- Those same hands carried the cross and braced the falls, which come with being human.
- They stretched out in sacrifice on the cross and
- were pierced with the nails of our sin.
- They rose in glory toward the Heavens and
- blessed the followers with peace.
- They provided proof to a doubting Thomas and
- pointed to Heaven in Assumption and direction of our ultimate goal. Yes, Our Dear Lord's Hands point the Way, the Truth, and the Light, and should be our models.
If not the Hands of Our Lord, do our hands more closely resemble the Hands of our Blessed Mother which reached out to touch Her Divine Son, or perhaps the hands of Veronica, which wiped Our Lord's face in loving charity, kindness, and thanks? Maybe our hands look more like those of St. John, who clasped his firm hand around her delicate hand in embracing Our Blessed Mother as our Mother at the foot of the cross through her Divine Son's final wish? Lastly, one prays that our hands look like those of Joseph of Arimethea, which seek to bring Our Divine Savior down from the cross!
Alas! If our only options were as worthy and positive as those above, but our weakness and humanity begs to differ! We may find our hands more closely resemble those of Judas, which sold out Christ for worldly gains and pride. Perhaps Pilate is our role model by pathetically purporting to cleanse guilt only to ease a conscience more in tune with the judgment of men than with that of God. Do our hands resemble those of Peter, warming themselves in the fire of denial, or Simon, reluctantly touching a cross by force and not loving union with Christ? Do not our hands often fit exactly the mold of those of the executioners of Christ, nailing Him with our sin? Lastly, are our hands like those of Thomas, being used as instruments for proving where faith should have been all the proof required? Yes, we see a wide array of candidates for our hands. Which ones fit our hands is our decision!
We may rightly ask if our hands are being used for constructing and teaching the message of Christ in this world or for praying in thanks, praise and then supplication?
Do our hands carry us closer to God or do they pull us farther from Him? Do our hands reach out to those in need in imitation of Our Lord or do they grab for us with little notice of others? Do our hands open books filled with God or trash filled with the devil?
Do our hands cook loving meals and toil in loving service or do they merely go through the motions? Do our hands point to direct and assist or to judge and blame? Do they point to us or to God? Do our hands come together to pray or to applaud the foolish superficiality of this world?
Lastly, do we open our hands to receive our own marks of persecution for Christ or to play with foolish fortune telling? There is much we can do with our hands, but how much do we use them to glorify God and live the Message of Christ?
Windows to the Soul
Just as our eyes reveal much about our minds and our soul, so too our hands can tell us much about how we see Christ in our lives, how we live our lives, and how we relate to others. Our hands touch just about everything, which may come before us in this life, yet do they bring the Touch of Christ to others and ourselves? Our hands hold many things as we go through our days, yet do they hold the love of Christ and the Banner of our True Faith proudly for all to see?
Lastly, our hands may show the kind of work we do, but do they show the marks and the sacrifices we are all called to make if we are to truly follow He whose Hands reach out to us welcoming us from our pilgrimage if we should choose to reach out in return? Only we can answer that question, for as we slip into that surreal image of a loving mother inspecting our hands, we must also slip into the very real future of a loving God inspecting our hands for signs of Christ!
We can begin with a simple exercise that we should all do whenever possible. Place your hands on your heart for it is in your heart where you truly will know and beneath that heart is a mystical organ no one can see but is there and will remain with you when all else is dust: your soul. Now take your hands and bring them together just above your chest; put both palms firmly together fingers straight and pointed upward towards Heaven. and cross the thumbs. Now you are in the proper mode to ask God what hands are yours for the best way to know is to hand it over to God and trust in Him.
Editor's Note: We are pleased to announce Gabriel Garnica will be contributing many articles in 2004. Heaven is once again under attack by those who would seek to ignore and overthrow God's majesty and authority. Gabriel Garnica, educator and attorney, will submit regular insights and commentaries to remind and help guide readers toward a deeper and more assertive faith. Touching on topics and issues ranging from personal faith, doctrine, education, scripture, the media, family life, morality, and values, Gabriel's notes will be music to traditional ears but unpleasant tones to those who have bought into the misguided notions so prevalent and spreading in today's Catholic world.