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I attended St. Peter Canisius Grammar School on the North side of the city of Chicago. Our pastor, Msgr. Flaherty, came into our classroom every month to distribute our report cards and to encourage us to study hard.

One day he surprised us by bringing into our classroom our school’s maintenance man, Mr. Sullivan. Msgr. Flaherty said to us: “I want you children to look at Mr. Sullivan’s hands.” The maintenance man was obviously embarrassed, but he held out his hands for us to see. His hands were calloused and worn.

He then held up Mr. Sullivan’s right hand for us to see. “These hands do the Lord’s work,” he said. We all looked at each other. These were the hands that mopped up a third grader’s spilled milk. We wondered how the Lord could be interested in that.

“This man’s hands,”
the pastor continued, “have cleaned the church, kept your school running, fixed the boilers, shoveled the snow, and cut the entire lawn on our property. This man’s life and this man’s hands are dedicated to the Lord in everything he does. Now take a good look at your hands. Please do the same with them for the rest of your life.”

God does not have hands, we do. Our hands are God’s hands. What God is able to do in our world today is in our hands.

God gives us the ingredients for our Daily Bread. But God expects us to do the baking.

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