As a youngster, I used to love the game Operation.
My friends and I would play it, trying with all the focus we could muster to remove various ailments from the many openings in the patient, known affectionately as “Cavity Sam.”
It was extremely tricky using those tiny tweezers to pull out all of his plastic ailments.
I remember often touching the edges of the cavity openings, setting off that annoying buzzer and lighting up Sam’s red light bulb nose.
Looking at Cavity Sam, his heart and stomach areas were the toughest to operate on, based on the number of objects needing removal.
Broken Heart, Spare Ribs, Wish Bone, Bread Basket and Butterflies in Stomach all filled the main region of his body and would always seem to trip me up.
His hands and feet, by contrast, were far less of a challenge, as there were barely any pieces you had to pluck out with the tweezers.
In examining our lives, while the heart and stomach areas are key parts of the human body, the hands and feet can easily be taken for granted.
I mean, let’s be honest, you can’t do much without your hands and feet.
While not impossible, without these extremities, one’s independence can easily be compromised when doing many activities, such as eating, dressing, writing and moving.
The importance of our hands and feet is stressed even further when considering our faith.
St. Teresa of Avila reminds us of this, describing us as being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ on earth.
Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which He looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good. Yours are the hands through 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.
As we discuss this in my Religious Education classes, I remind my students how we are all called to live as modern-day prophets, sharing God’s Holy Word with the world by living as reflections of His Son and our Savior.
If God is to be present in today’s society, it is up to us to reveal Him.
If Jesus’ presence is to be felt in today’s culture, we must take on the task to introduce and celebrate it, doing so with humility and respect through our thoughts, words and, yes, most definitely our actions.
Volunteer work in the community, financial donations to non-profit organizations, food and clothing provided to shelters for the homeless and blood given to patients in need – these are just some of the ways we can model God’s love and teachings.
But we can also do God’s work through the simplest of acts, such as opening a door for someone, telling the truth, comforting a person when they are sad, using manners, inviting someone to eat lunch or play a game with us, and looking at people in the eye when talking with them.
By preaching our Lord’s Gospel message not only through speech but also through deeds in our daily living, we can better show society the wonder of virtues, while slowly ridding it of destructive vices.
So as we aim to operate our lives in happy and healthy ways, let us always remember to serve as the hands and feet of Jesus, touching the hearts of others and walking in His holy path, paving the way for others to follow.