VATICAN CITY — In his Tuesday daily homily, Pope Francis recalled how God formed man with his own hand and emphasized that God is a Father who seeks to console his children rather than hurt them.
“Jesus, God, has taken his wounds with him: He makes them visible to the Father. This is the price: The hands of God are hands blistered by love. And this consoles us much,” the Pope stated during a Nov. 12 homily at his daily Mass in the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse.
Focusing his words on the day’s reading from the Book of Wisdom, describing how God created man by hand out of the dirt of the earth, the Pope said that “God has created man for incorruptibility,” but that, “by the devil’s envy, death entered the world.”
This envy, he said, has begun a war that is a “way that ends with death,” adding also that, now, “we all have to undergo death.”
However, Pope Francis said, “it is one thing to pass this experience with a belonging to the devil, and it’s another thing to pass this experience by the hand of God.” He added that we have been in the hands of God “since the beginning.”
“The Bible explains the creation to us, using a beautiful image,” said the Holy Father, “that God, with his hands, makes us out of mud, of the earth, in his image and likeness.”
“The hands of God have created us: God the artisan, eh,” Pope Francis said. “He has created us like an artisan. These hands of the Lord ... the hands of God that have not abandoned us.”
The Holy Father continued by reflecting that God is our Father and that, as such, he “teaches us to walk; teaches us to go on the path of life and of salvation.”
God’s hands, stressed the Pope, “caress us in times of sorrow; they comfort us,” observing that “it is our Father who caresses us. He loves us so much,” and within “these caresses, many times, there is forgiveness.”
It is good to think about this fact, Pope Francis added, conveying that the “blistered” hands of Jesus have paid the price for our salvation out of love.
“Let us think of the hands of Jesus,” he said, “when he touched the sick and would cure them. … They are the hands of God: They cure us. I can’t imagine God slapping us. I can’t imagine it.”
He added, “Reproaching us, yes, I can imagine, because he does that! But he never, never hurts us. Never. He caresses us.”
When God does need to chastise, “he does it with a caress, because he is a Father,” said the Pope, quoting the verse from Scripture, which states that “the souls of the just are in the hands of God.”
Pope Francis concluded his homily by urging those present to continue thinking about the hands of God, which “have created us like a craftsman, have given us eternal health.”
“They are blistered hands, and they accompany us on the path of life,” he said. “Let us entrust ourselves to the hands of God, like a child entrusts himself to the hand of his father. This is a safe hand.”