Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

His Holy and Venerable Hands

Detail Jairus' Daughter Raised ~ Gabriel von Max

AT THE CONSECRATION of the bread and wine in the First Eucharistic Prayer (also called The Roman Canon) at Mass,  the hands of Jesus are described as holy and venerable.

On the night before he was to suffer he took bread in his holy and venerable hands...
In a similar way when supper was ended, he took this precious chalice in his holy and venerable hands.

That the little phrase of five words appearing twice within moments of each other, suggests we might be be sure to pay attention to the hands of Jesus. They are called holy hands because they are God's hands, reaching into our troubled and burdened world.

We don't use the word venerable often. The word's Latin origin means commanding respect and admiration because of an impressive dignity or noble character.What a lovely thought: the holy and venerable hands of Jesus. We might consider in silence the painting detail above taken from a larger image of Jesus raising the daughter of Jairus.

There are dozens of references to the hands of Jesus in the Gospels. Here are some verses from Matthew alone which might invite us to  deep meditations and joy:

Suddenly a man with a virulent skin-disease came up and bowed low in front of Jesus saying, "Lord, if you are willing, you can cleanse me." Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him saying, "I am willing. Be cleansed." And his skin-disease was cleansed at once. (8:2,3) 
And going into Peter's house Jesus found Peter's mother-in-law in bed and feverish. He touched her hand and the fever left her, and she got up and began to serve him. (8:14,15) 
When Jesus reached the official's house and saw the flute-players, with the crowd making a commotion, he said, "Get out of here; the little girl is not dead; she is asleep." And they ridiculed him.  But when the people had been turned out he went inside and took her by the hand; and she stood up. (9:23-26) 
Then Jesus instructed  the crowd to sit down on the ground, and he took the seven loaves and the fish, and after giving thanks he broke them and began handing them to the disciples, who gave them to the crowds. (15:36)
At the Transfiguration of Jesus in brilliant light, Peter, James and John fell down on their faces. Saint Matthew tells us: But Jesus came up and touched them, saying, "Stand up, do not be afraid." And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but Jesus. (17:7,8)
Now there were two blind men sitting at the side of the road...Jesus felt pity for them and touched their eyes, and at once their sight returned and they followed him. (20: 30,34)

His Holy and Venerable Hands


  1. Don't you think Father, When God created us in His image and likeness. He made our hands to be healers in a human sort of likeness. With our hands, we can pray for healings, we can create beautiful things. we can serve others. what great tools our hands are. God is so thoughtful.

    1. Surely! More later. There's still three other gospels to investigate. His holy and venerable hands.

  2. I have seen, the healing hands of God, reaching out and mending the physically, emotionally, and spiritually broken among us. Let us see the fullness of His graces and accept them with an open mind and heart.

    1. Yes. I hold in highest regard the people who use their hands to heal others, soothe and restore others.