During the last war, a church in Strasbourg was destroyed. Nothing remained except a heap of rubble and broken glass, or so the people thought till they began clearing away the masonry. Then they found a statue of Christ still standing erect. In spite of all the bombing it was unharmed except that both hands were missing. Eventually rebuilding of the church began.
One day a sculptor saw the figure of Christ, and offered to carve new hands. The church officials met to consider the sculptor’s friendly gesture—and decided not to accept the offer. Why? Because the members of that church said: “Our broken statue touches the spirits of men, but that He has no hands to minister to the needy or feed the hungry or enrich the poor—except our hands. He inspires. We perform.”
It is true Jesus has no hands to work in this world. He needs our hands, eyes, feet and mouth. Do not blame anybody for our excuses.
It was in Assisi the Franciscanism emerged. The church was in so called dark age. St. Francis, an ordinary youth from Assisi tried to build up the Church. He never criticized anyone. He changed the world through his exemplary life.
Once St. Francis asked his intimate disciple Leo: let us go and preach? They took a round through Assisi and returned in the evening. Francis did not preach to anyone. Leo asked the reason. Francis said the way we walked, the way we greeted and the way we dressed yes, Leo, we were preaching.
A priest complained to the pope there is nobody good in the world. He said let us start from us.
Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today
He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way
He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died
He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.
We are the only Bible the careless world will read,
We are the sinner’s gospel; we are the scoffer’s creed;
We are the Lord’s last message, given in word and deed;
What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?
What if our hands are busy with other work than His?
What if our feet are walking where sin’s allurement is?
What if our tongue is speaking of things His lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help Him or welcome His return?
—Annie Johnston Flint
“Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours, yours are the eyes through which to look at Christ’s compassion to the world, yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good, and yours are the hands with which he is to bless us now.”
St. Teresa of Avila, the 16th century Spanish nun
"For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do".
Dear companions, we need, as a church, to extend Christ’s hospitality beyond our own walls, to serve in our own community in a regular and meaningful way, not just with our financial support but with our own hands. Christ has no hands but ours now. How will we use them? Whether it is to serve at the soup kitchen, or to shelve groceries at the food pantry, or to knit prayer shawls for people in the hospital, or to serve in some way we haven’t yet imagined, we need as a community of faith to commit ourselves collectively to service for others. Let us think about this for the next semester.