Being the Hands and Feet of Christ

First Reading: Romans 3:21-30

Brothers and sisters:
Now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law,
though testified to by the law and the prophets,
the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ
for all who believe.
For there is no distinction;
all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.
They are justified freely by his grace
through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
whom God set forth as an expiation,
through faith, by his Blood, to prove his righteousness
because of the forgiveness of sins previously committed,
through the forbearance of God–
to prove his righteousness in the present time,
that he might be righteous
and justify the one who has faith in Jesus.

What occasion is there then for boasting? It is ruled out.
On what principle, that of works?
No, rather on the principle of faith.
For we consider that a person is justified by faith
apart from works of the law.
Does God belong to Jews alone?
Does he not belong to Gentiles, too?
Yes, also to Gentiles, for God is one
and will justify the circumcised on the basis of faith
and the uncircumcised through faith.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm130:1B-2, 3-4,5-6AB

R. (7) With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD;
LORD, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to my voice in supplication.

R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

If you, O LORD, mark iniquities,
Lord, who can stand?
But with you is forgiveness,
that you may be revered.

R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

I trust in the LORD;
my soul trusts in his word.
My soul waits for the LORD
more than sentinels wait for the dawn.

R. With the Lord there is mercy, and fullness of redemption.

Gospel: Luke 11:47-54

The Lord said:
“Woe to you who build the memorials of the prophets
whom your fathers killed.
Consequently, you bear witness and give consent
to the deeds of your ancestors,
for they killed them and you do the building.
Therefore, the wisdom of God said,
‘I will send to them prophets and Apostles;
some of them they will kill and persecute’
in order that this generation might be charged
with the blood of all the prophets
shed since the foundation of the world,
from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah
who died between the altar and the temple building.
Yes, I tell you, this generation will be charged with their blood!
Woe to you, scholars of the law!
You have taken away the key of knowledge.
You yourselves did not enter and you stopped those trying to enter.”
When Jesus left, the scribes and Pharisees
began to act with hostility toward him
and to interrogate him about many things,
for they were plotting to catch him at something he might say.


oct 15

“Joan, you are marching at least a full step ahead of everyone else in your row. Can’t you see that?” my band director yelled over the sound of the booming drumline.

“I honestly didn’t know I was doing that,” I shouted back as I could feel tears forming in my eyes, “but I will do my best to not let it happen again,” I added as I looked down at my feet trying to get back in step.

In today’s Gospel we find Jesus acting like my band director as He calls out the scholars of the law. While Jesus’ words did not offer suggestions for how to march in a straight line, they did speak truth: the scribes and Pharisees’ current ways of life were not helping themselves or the people they were preaching to get closer to Heaven.

Have you, my dear sisters, ever had a moment where someone called you out for doing something? Whether it was a spouse, friend, family member, or coworker, what impact did that encounter have on you?

As I think back to my experience, I remember feeling embarrassed for being singled out, but I also felt thankful. Had my band director not brought my poor marching to my attention, I would have kept marching a step ahead of everyone else which, let’s be honest, does not look good. Thankfully, my band director spoke the truth to me, which isn’t always an easy thing to do.

And so, my dear sisters, on this feast day of Saint Teresa of Avila, may we have the courage to share our faith with others and to remember her words:

“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

What can you do today to help bring Christ to others?

photo by Sara Miller

Joan Geiger is a North Dakota native and newlywed, and in her spare time she can be found going on adventures with her husband, working as a Registered Dietitian, and drinking coffee. You can find out more about her here.

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