Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Hand of God



We had a new priest celebrate Mass today.  This was his first Mass and I received his blessing, after Mass. ( There is a specific plenary indulgence attached to attending a priest’s first “scheduled” or “public” Mass  and to the first such Mass only.Enchiridion 1999, conc. 27 ).1 

His homily was about the voice of God.  It’s been three days in a row, that I’ve gotten the message, “My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord;/I know them, and they follow me. “ ( John 10: 27-28)   I get it.  I’m listening.  And what I heard today, in both the First Reading , and the Gospel, was the noun, “hands”.

And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number believed and turned to the Lord.  (Acts 11:21-22)

My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are One.  (John 10:29-30)

To me this means, I’m in God’s hands.  I know this already.  Since it’s emphasized twice today, I’m nervous.  Is something terrible going to happen that I need to consciously remember that I’m in God’s hands?  I won’t say, I hope not.  I pray that I don't forget that I’m in good hands, the best hands-- God’s.

Or is it a reminder of this new priest’s hands?  The hands of a priest are special.  It is with these hands that the priest will consecrate the bread and wine.  The Eucharist is the reason and source of the priest’s mission because it brings Jesus to the people.  It’s a divine mission and the priest’s hands are the instruments that brings this mystery about.

Some people, after receiving the priest’s blessing, sometimes kiss the priest’s palms, for this reason.