Safe and loved in the ‘good hands’ of Jesus
For decades we’ve seen on television a familiar logo of outstretched cupped hands that’s accompanied by the slogan, "You’re in good hands with Allstate." Whether or not you are a customer, we can easily acknowledge this is a reassuring image. It feels good to be safe in strong, protective hands.
Trapeze artists depend on the good hands of their fellow performers when they somersault and fly through the air, trusting the hours of practice and their partner’s good hands will hold. Football quarterbacks hurl the ball through the air toward a wide receiver as they depend on the good hands of their teammate when the ball arrives to be caught. And patients place their trust in the good hands of a surgeon while they are powerless under the anesthesia.
In our most difficult hours, when we are most vulnerable, how important it is for us to feel safe in good strong hands!
Jesus knows we have this need, and that is why he uses this metaphor in our Gospel reading today. Jesus reminds us we can live and rest at peace, even in a dangerous world, because he is our Shepherd, and he says to us, "No one can take them [my sheep] out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand."
Are you in good hands? If the hands in question are the hands of God, the answer would be a resounding and confident, "Yes."
This wonderful reassurance comes to us with an expectation and a challenge. In the first part of the Gospel reading, Jesus says, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me."
Can we count ourselves among those who listen and faithfully follow the voice of Christ as he continually speaks to our hearts? Are we attuned to the sound of Jesus’ voice amidst the noise and distractions of our world?
We will hear his loving voice and experience the strength of his hands when we find time for prayer and reflection each day.
Father Dennis Hanneman is pastor of St. Mary Parish in Bellevue. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.