Welcome to the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

In Our Hands – Br. Mark Brown

Hands are a miracle—a 16 billion year miracle. There isn’t anything else in the known universe that has more capacity to do things. Most of what gets done in the world gets done by hands. We might pause to admire the sheer intricacy of hands—the capacity of hands to get things done. An amazing system of coordination of muscle, tendons, bones (27), cartilage, nerves, and blood—flexors and extensors and an opposable thumb. And all intimately linked to the central nervous system of the brain. A crowning touch of nature.

And the way God gets things done in the world. Most of the time. If the Lord binds up the injuries of his people and heals their wounds, if he heals the broken hearted, if he lifts up the lowly—it is with human hands. If the Lord rebuilds Jerusalem, tearing down walls and building bridges, it is with human hands. If swords are turned into pruning hooks, it is with human hands. Even the deaf can hear—with human hands. A crowning touch, the hands are. Intimately linked to the brain, the mind and heart and soul—and intimately linked to the very heart of God.

The impulse to heal, the impulse to build, to lift up—the impulse to build and rebuild Jerusalem – is the Divine Compassion living and active in us. The impulse is God’s. The hands are ours.

If the human heart is a tabernacle of the Divine Presence, so, too, are our hands. As St. Teresa reminded us, they’re the only ones he has now.

The Kingdom of God is at hand. And, to a very great extent, in our hands.

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