Tolstoy once told a story of a Czar and Czarina who wished to honor the members of their court with a banquet. They sent out invitations and requested that the guests come with the invitations in their hands. When they arrived at the banquet the guests were surprised to discover that the guards did not look at their invitations at all. Instead, they examined their hands.

The guests wondered about this, but they were also curious to see who the Czar and Czarina would choose as the guest of honor to sit between them at the banquet. They were flabbergasted to see that it was the old scrubwoman who had worked to keep the palace clean for years.

The guards, having examined her hands, declared, “You have the proper credentials to be the guest of honor. We can see your love and loyalty in your hands.”

In today’s Gospel, Jesus challenges the unbelieving disciples: “See my hands and my feet…” They were invited to remove their superstitious doubt that he was a ghost.

Submitted by Fr. Joseph Dovari