(Saturday, July 1)

Your hands have made me and fashioned me; Give me understanding, that I may learn Your commandments.” (Ps 118/119:73)

This Saturday, which is Day 7 of the biblical week, the day on which God “rested” from His work of creation, I’m thinking about the ways in which God continues to “work,” even on Saturdays. As Christ says on a Sabbath-day, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” (Jn 5:17)

God continues to “work” on us, – on you, my beloved readers, and on me, having “made me and fashioned me” initially. But there is more “work” to be done on us, which is accomplished throughout our life-long learning process, when we become open to learning: “Give me understanding,” we ask in the second part of the above Psalm-verse, “that I may learn Your commandments.”

When we let Him into our lives and become willing to learn His will, God continues to “work” on us, as a great artist works on His masterpieces, sculpting and “fashioning” us – with our active participation in the process. This is why, when our own hands are anointed with the “oil of gladness” in the rite of Holy Baptism, the celebrating priest says, “Your hands have made me and fashioned me.” Our own hands are blessed in this way, to participate in the “gladness” of God’s creative work. Let us let our hands be blessed this Saturday, whether at work or at play, and happy 4th of July Weekend to those of you in the U.S.!