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You are Christ’s hands

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Some years ago I celebrated the culminating Mass of a two-day Life in the Spirit Seminar (LSS) of the Loved Flock charismatic community at the DPWH chapel, Port Area, Manila.

It was participated in by a cross section of teen-agers and elders, the masa and government office personnel, many of whom had not gone to confession and communion for years.

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What I considered inspiring was the thought that there are generous people who, forgetting their personal needs and comforts, still take time out to reach out to people who are in need spiritually. They don’t just work and pray and sanctify themselves, but share their three Ts – Time, Treasure, Talent.

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They have understood the Christian calling which the gospel of this 2nd Sunday teaches. “Jesus invited John and Andrew to where he stayed and since then became his disciples. Andrew in turn invited his brother Simon to meet “Jesus the Messiah.” Seeing Simon, Jesus told him to follow him and changed his name to Peter (from the Latin “petrus” which means rock) (Jn 38-42).

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This band of fishermen formed the core group on which Christ founded his Church. Today their successors are popes, bishops, priests and religious.

Unfortunately, many have the idea that the call of Christ to evangelize is addressed only to these modern-day apostles. That’s not true. Every Christian is commissioned to a ministry of love and justice by virtue of his or her baptism.

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Listen to these words of the Vatican II Decree on the Laity: “Incorporated into Christ’s Mystical Body through Baptism and strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit through Confirmation, the laity are assigned to the apostolate by the Lord himself” (3).

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So whether you are an accountant, a lawyer, clerk, doctor, musician, an executive, teacher or laborer you are sent out to “preach, teach, heal and witness to the Good News” by your good example and Christian living.

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Towards the end of the Second World War, the German army was retreating and the allied forces entered a badly battered Italian village. Some entered the village church. They saw the statue of the Sacred Heart toppled down from its pedestal and was broken to a thousand pieces.

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To boost the morale of the people, the soldiers reconstructed the statue. Piece by piece they pasted it together with the exception of the two hands. These were so badly damaged that they were beyond repair.

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In place of the hands, one of the soldiers, a Catholic who truly understood his faith, made a plaque (caratola) on which he inscribed the following words: “You are the hands of Christ.” When you have the chance to visit this church, you can still see Christ’s outstretched arms without the hands. But the plaque is there which tells us graphically what it means to be a Catholic.

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Physically Christ is no longer with us. But his work of evangelization goes on. And it goes on – in and through us.

For you and I are the “hands of Christ.”

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SUPPORT SEMINARIANS. We request our generous readers to help needy seminarians we’re supporting under our “Adopt-A- Seminarian” scholarship program. You may chip in an amount or sponsor a seminarian’s schooling for one year.

For inquiry, e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

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