Christ's hands--and ours

Thus shall I bless you in my life, and in your name I shall lift up my hands (Ps 62[63]: 5). Thus shall I bless you in my life. In my life now, the one you gave me, not the one that I chose with others according to the world and down its many paths, but in the life that you gave me by your mercy so that I might praise you.Thus shall I bless you in my life. Why thus? So that I would attribute this life of praise to your mercy and not to my merits. And in your name I shall lift up my hands. Lift up your hands in prayer. Our Lord lifted up his hands on the cross so that our hands might be stretched out in good works because his cross gave us mercy. See how he lifted up his hands and offered himself as a sacrifice to God for our sake, and by that sacrifice all our sins were wiped away. Let us, too, lift up our hands in prayer, and hands lifted up to God, if they are active in good works, will never be confounded. (Augustine, EnPs 62[63], 13; PL 36, 755)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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