A DIFFERENT KIND OF HAND-WASHING

Pilate played a very crucial role
in the death of Jesus.
He alone had the authority
to send Jesus to his crucifixion.
Without a death sentence
properly issued by someone in his position,
the enemies of Jesus would have failed
in their scheme to rid themselves of him.

Despite holding such power, however,
Pilate acted like he was not in control at all.
Instead of pronouncing judgment,
he conceded to others to do that for him.
He appeared not as a man full of authority,
but one helplessly full of questions
and uncertainty.

“Christ before Pilate” (Nicolaes Maes)

His questions to Jesus, for one,
went unanswered.

Secondly, instead of deciding to use
the Feast of the Passover as a reason
to release Jesus–
someone he had, in other accounts,
repeatedly pronounced as a man
in whom he found no crime–
he opted to rely on the crowd
to make the decision for him.

When he finally made his decision,
it was a decision not to make a decision.
He opted not to issue his own judgment,
as he was supposed to–
but instead he gave in to the crowd.

By symbolically washing his hands,
Pilate was
distancing himself
from the responsibility for Jesus’ death.


His hand-washing was a message
sent loud and clear to all
that he had nothing to do
with the crucifixion of Jesus
even if, in fact, he was the only man
in all of Palestine
who could have–or should have–
done something about it.

Only he could have saved Jesus
if he had chosen to.

His failing as a leader was not so much
because of what he did,
but because of what he did not do:
He did not get involved enough
to wield his power in the way
expected of a wise and responsible leader.

It’s sometimes tempting
to wash our hands of our responsibilities
and to focus exclusively on self-preservation.
It’s a temptation that tends
to get stronger
when the stakes or risks are higher.

These days we are certainly facing
higher stakes and higher risks:
It’s normal to feel afraid.
It’s tempting not to get involved
and to focus only on our own survival.

This is a good time to ask ourselves:
In this time of frenzied hand-washing,
are we also engaging in
Pilate’s version of it?

In this time of the pandemic,
this other variant of hand-washing
can be manifested in different forms.

People look at the empty shelves at a local supermarket in Singapore after panic buying swept through the city after the government raised the alert level for a deadly novel coronavirus in Singapore on February 8, 2020 – Anxious Singapore shoppers formed long lines at grocery stores and cleared the shelves of essential items, after the city-state raised its alert level over China’s coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP)

Here are three examples:

(a) panic-buying and hoarding;

(b) contributing to the spread of fear, rage,
and depression–whether face-to-face or online
;

or (c) simply refusing to lift a finger
to help those who need help.


All these are examples
of our giving up our social responsibility
at a time when it is most needed
in our society and in the world.

If you’ve yielded to any of these,
what do you think
would help you resist the temptations
in the future?

Feel free to share your reactions below.

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71 replies on “A DIFFERENT KIND OF HAND-WASHING”

I’m glad and grateful that my friend from Toronto, Canada shared Pins of Light with me. I enjoyed the presentation and has deeply touched me in so many ways.

God Bless.

I have this strong feeling that I can do more, even if I believe I am helping in my own way by staying home, watching my health, and supporting clients through our therapy training program. I am sometimes paralyzed by this persistent feeling of helplessness. But I will push through, to join others in the courageous effort to keep doing what I can do for others instead of “washing my hands” of responsibility.

I guess I, too, was one of those spreading fear and rage, without me realizing it, at the start of this pandemic. It came from my own fears and rage, fears that I was sick from CoVid, and I wasn’t conscious that this will probably spread unhelpful feelings to those who might read them.

Fortunately, my 14 day quarantine also helped me to realize which posts to re-post, and which will truly help. My 14 day quarantine “cured” me physically and emotionally.

To see the suffering face of Jesus in each and every single person we encounter would help us resist the temptation to think only of ourselves.

Hoarding is a particular hand-washing urge that’s particularly difficult to deal with, especially in our culture of scarcity and hard times instilling in us the need for judicious preparation for self-preservation. Most of us probably know we have enough, but the urge is not a rational one, it is driven by fear, which is a form of lack of trust, an insidious one that pretends to be noble and hides its evil in self-justification. “Put your own oxygen mask on before helping others” seems such reasonable advice – but then we conveniently wash our hands, hide behind this justification even when it’s the 5th or 10th or 100th mask we’re putting on ourselves.

This reminds me of Jesus’s parable of the five loaves and two fish. Jesus’s promise here is simple – there is enough for everyone. But this only works if we get just what we need, and we only get just what we need when we trust in others to do the same. We can’t just wash our hands and say “I’ll take care of myself, you take care of you”; there needs to be an implicit agreement of “I trust you won’t steal from me, so I won’t steal from you”.

May Jesus help us find the courage to trust.

These different kinds of handwashings have already been manifested in our society at this time of global health emergency crisis. Some people no longer care about the welfare of those who are poor in spirit.

Allow me to sum up my thoughts using a few lines from the song, “PANANAGUTAN..”

“Walang sinoman ang nabubuhay, para sa sarili lamang.”

“Walang sinoman ang namamatay, para sa sarili lamang.”

THE WASHINGS:
1. Jesus washed the feet of His apostles. Jesus made them clean to prepare them for the next level in following Jesus. The apostles were made to understand that they have to be prepared: this time for the actual work as Jesus was about to leave. To prepare is to wash away the attitudes not needed in the mission; to ready to give oneself for the others; to mold their heart in love.
2. Pilate washed his hands:
Pilate was cloaked with authority. He can release Jesus if he followed his conscience that he had seen nothing wrong with Jesus, even to listen to the advice of his wife that Jesus is a righteous man. But Pilate wanted an easy way out. Actually he did not want to decide because to decide would take him deeper as the authority. He did not mind his authority by showing he was taking part in what would happen to Jesus. He had to preserve himself and preserve his friendship with Caesar. HE WASHED HIS HANDS! He let the angry and envious crowd decide the fate of Jesus. It was easier for him to distance himself from being a responsible authority than to face his conscience squarely; that human respect!
3. WHEN SHOULD I WASH MY HANDS and MY FEET?
I got You Lord Jesus!
I am on a Mission in a certain community. I want to be like Peter. Wash not only my feet but the whole of me, and not only for once but every time. This means the grace that I need as I commit myself in the service of You and others. This grace You have assured me in the Holy Eucharist! Allow me to love Your Body and Blood in the Holy Eucharist. Everything and Your deepest Love is expressed in the Holy Eucharist! Thank You My Father through Your Son Jesus Christ, my Lord, and Savior!

… crowd was citing the Law. The Jewish assembly gathered and pressured the Roman Authority to mind the Law since Jesus broke the religious rule set by the Pharisees. The effort was to punish Jesus for claiming to be the Son of God. Thus I believe that Pilate was truly innocent. It was the cunning effort of the Scribes and Pharisees to create this case against Jesus. Then Pilate was pressured by the crowd to apply the Law, which seems to be an agreement between the lawyers or Pharisee and the final authority in Rome, most likely the provisions of a Treaty that makes Roman authority protect Jewish Law.

I imagine that in many ways Pontius Pilate felt the situation was ridiculous. Why would he sentence someone to death who was so clearly innocent? Yet I also imagine that he felt fear… this farce was taking on a different tone in the face of the angry masses.

So rather than make the unpopular but rational decision of releasing Jesus, or the comfortable but irrational decision of crucifying him, he tries a third option – to do nothing.

In some ways this parallels my approach to this epidemic. I look around and feel that in some ways, there’s a ridiculousness to how many are responding to the situation. But rather than doing the hard and uncomfortable work of trying to understand data and appreciate the fear of others, I’ve been dismissive. I’ve sheltered in place. I’ve shut out the world, but shut myself off from grace.

I was very depressed upon seeing a message from a neighbor in a group chat. He said, prepare more because people are getting hungry. I think he was implying that the people from neighboring areas might decide to invade our subdivision.

The only thing I’ve done so far to help was give our weekly labandera and all-around handyman their pay for one month in advance. I feel haunted by the prospect that they and other people are suffering right now. Not just the poor people who have little to eat, but those in the hospitals, those who have something but not enough, those who need to go yo work to supply our needs, those who need to take care of the sick. I have little cash, I can’t send money because of the lockdown, I feel sick that I try to buy groceries online and more and more items are sold out. I grieve for the world that is suffering, and I am so sad and mad that my fellowmen seem to never really advance in life. There’s always a hitch.

The social media is just exhausting to deal with. The fake news is horrible. The politicking is infuriating. The political debates is tiring.

If there’s anything I’ve distanced mysf from, it has been from not being too involved in helping to change the country. I’ve grown tired of my own country, and I stayed away from politics. In retrospect, I think I need to be more active in shaping my country in practical ways. For instance, being more vocal about political issues. Silence is a firm of distancing. I remember someone, a young Korean, who told me that Filipinos need to protect their democracy. It’s difficult to not think of other people’s welfare these days. It is necessary to be watchful, aware and involved in matters that affect all Filipinos, not just one sector.

There are a lot of things that I feel angry about — the circumstance, cancelled plans, China’s apparent irresponsibility, and even the Philippine government’s lack of appropriate, timely action to contain the pandemic. And while I believe my anger towards these things are valid (especially for the last one because the government has been washing hands and its response has been making others’ lives more miserable), I hope that I could consistently channel my dissent in a respectful manner such that it facilitates more understanding than division. I still think that I could use a rightful amount of ‘anger’ to convince people to act and make people in power more accountable.

I feel guilty. I did not panic-buy, did not contribute to the spread of fear, did not refuse a help. But I still feel guilty because I did not do anything. I just stayed here inside the comforts of my home, with food on the table, bed to sleep on, and countless entertainment. But I did not do anything for those who need help. I feel guilty and I feel worthless. But seeing how others organized their own fundraising and donation drives, I have learned from them. I have learned that I can also do what they can. I will keep this in mind.

One real way truly is to be able to control our responses on social media, to practice the idea of tact and prudence in what we share and what we post.

Fr. Arnel used to say, righteous anger is good, but holding on to it for too long, is like acid that burns not just others but also our very selves. And I think people have this righteous anger burning inside themselves, but it must be exercised with prudence and with caution as it could affect others in ways that we do not understand especially on our social media platforms.

We always think our personal decisions are always our own, but unfortunately, our personal decisions always have social repercussions, and thus be decided upon with much responsibility in mind.

Thinking of the effects on my decisions to other people. Often, we tend to focus only to ourselves and not consider how our actions will affect the people around us. Being able to put yourself in the shoes of others is something that can show solidarity with what they are going through.

I guess such actions are results of great fear for one’s life. I might have given in to that fear by neglecting others who are in most need of food, shelter, and protection. But, I can avoid this in the future by always giving friendly reminders to others to always be prepared of what’s to come. A simple message of awareness will show concern for these other people–giving them enough chance to prepare for themselves.

Share what we have. Villages’ security teams are retraining for rioting and looting. The best prevention is when nobody gets hungry. Barangays are already dispensing social amelioration programs. But individuals can also play a major part by taking care of the people under their employ. For as long as possible, try to give allowance to staff even though they can’t come to work. And consider it as donation or tithing. I have also seen a car dispensing food and there was a short, orderly line of people waiting patiently by the car to receive. Attached to the window is a sign, “We are not the government. We only want to help.”

simply refusing to lift a finger
to help those who need help:

I have complied to the recommendations to prevent the spread of the virus, I have supported local business and workers by ordering meals and paying to have groceries delivered, and I have prayed for the people on the front lines, a cure,,, What I have failed to do is to do anything extra such as donating food, sharing resources, helping others, or putting myself at risk to help.

What I can do is to always ask myself what one more thing can I do in addition to the basics or minimum requirement or expectation for everyone (washing regularly, staying home, supporting local establishments..).

What is one more thing I can do to contribute to the solution?

I wasn’t able to take a more active role in helping, apart from really small donations. I stayed at home because I had two senior citizens with me. But I told myself, I will find a way to give back soon.

What if… What if Pontius Pilate did exercise his authority and freed Jesus? I don’t think the Bible tells us anything more of what happened to him after the death of Jesus. Some say he committed suicide… but to this day, we can only speculate.

Should we thank Pilate and even Judas, for that matter, for allowing the passion, crucifixion and death of our Lord Jesus, to take place? But why, when we know they had an evil hand in all this?

In his last dying breath, Jesus uttered, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Let us remember that after all the pain and suffering He went through, He had sought forgiveness for all those who wronged Him.

And I truly believe that God, our Father relented. So, how can we not forgive…

I did not hoard nor spread fake news. My regret is to not acknowledge front liners who were lining up in the grocery. I should have given up my place so they could finish their shopping quickly. I should not have just thought of myself. I should’ve been more generous with these people.

I try my best to cheer people during these pandemic that we are experiencing and spread positivity, although I am not helping directly those in need at these times I do try to assist in ways that could have an impact to the needy. Please give me strength & guidance thru these times o lord

I don’t know if I yielded to letters b and c. I have expressed my disappointment and frustrations to our government, especially to the most responsible one. I participated with the hashtag to oust him because I do think that he is incompetent. Is this spreading rage? I apologize, Lord. It may be better for me to engage in a more calm manner.

I am also willing to help others, but I’m afraid katamaran has gotten inside me. I always thought of donating but I have never done it yet until now. Lord, help me to be a responsible neighbor to others.

Sorry Lord if at times I fail You. Let me make up. Help us, esp. those in need. Let us be courageous and be accountable of our duties. Make us good Christians, loving our neighbors. Let us think of the welfare of others, not just ourselves. Now confined in our homes, let us send prayers to everyone, esp.. the sick and those who are outside to help keep the country thriving.

Self preservation, virtual terrorism and turning a blind eye are problems we have felt as a nation during this ECQ due to covid19. Lord Jesus, please help us remember that we are in this together. That only when my neighbors can help themselves can i also help my own cause. United we stand, divided we fall. Please touch us that we may realize that there is always enough for everyone’s need but never enough for one man’s greed. Amen

Sometimes, I see myself like Pilate, thinking of my personal convenience at the cost of sacrificing the good of another.

Jesus, please give me courage to do what is good and just. Amen.

Honestly, I think I’m caught in some sort of ‘greediness’ in terms of choosing where to give my donations to the Covid-19 pandemic. I want to give, I have the means to give, I have given some, but I feel that it should be according to my terms – the charitable institution I want, how much and when I want. I have seen a lot of posts in my social media timeline on donation drives, but I consciously ignore them since they are ‘not on my terms’. By this, I feel that I’m ‘washing my hands’. I know I can give more and I just need to open my heart to be more generous for I know that the Lord won’t be outdone in generosity.

Dear Jesus, grant me the grace to give more, to partake in Your suffering, to be in solidarity with You, so that I may a share in Your glory as well. Amen.

Is is spreading hate to question the measures (or lack of) by the government? Especially when you feel that Filipinos are not being thought of by our own leaders? I see it also in the West when they try to “window dress” the pandemic and didn’t take the necessary precautions due to “diplomatic” and “economic” concerns.

I am praying to the Lord that when this ordeal is over, humans will value humanity over material things. Especially when a loved one’s life is on the line. What frightens me is that when someone becomes afflicted, their on their own. Loved ones have no guarantee they will see them again. It made me reflect on my own mortality as well, and those of my loved ones. Are we ready?

I haven’t yielded myself to do any of these as I’ve kept a good amount of concern and respect for everyone else around me. It’s normal to be worried or even in fear in such a time like this. But you don’t want that worry or fear to strip you of your own responsibility to society and the people around you. Think of people who also have families to take care of, people who are in need of provisions during this trying time. The least we could do is to do acts that prevent us from getting our own needs at the expense of others’ needs i.e. panic buying

Love everyone, good or bad, friend or foe, those who bless you and those who plot against you. Love them all equally. Grant me the grace to do just that, to think and act because I love them, to love without prejudice or bias.

Jesus, I would really need your help on this one.

Being just a grain of sand in the vastness, amid this crisis, it is easy to get lost in one’s selfish concerns. For me, handwashing in these times may mean: Turning a blind eye is sometimes more covenient than bothering ourselves to do even just a little to alleviate the situations arising from what is happening.
I have done my bit for a few who needed my help, but even then, I still feel it was inadequate. I don’t know if my meager contributions, monetary or in kind, were enough. I got to thinking that maybe I am trying to absolve myself from the feeling of not left wanting for necessities; for being cocooned in safety while others battle it out in the frontlines every single day. But, as I look deep inside myself, I am reminded by God that my small efforts were not in vain. He shows this in ways that I am truly humbled and grateful. And it is with love that I face God to say ‘Thank you!’.

This crisis is revealing how some government leaders have distanced themselves from their commitment to serve the people especially the poor. We see many Pilates right now as we see many poor people suffering from the lack of delivery of decent housing, potable water and reliable electricity. May they realize that not doing anything to address informal settlement raises the cost of addressing future pandemics and disasters. May the people choose genuine public servants in the future.

Forgive me Lord for the many times I did handwashing in these times. In times of helping people with questions and doubts. In times of not being mindful of the needs of my immediate family. Pardon me Lord for the times that I could give more but won’t due to indifference.

I am in awe of frontliners and leaders who have stepped up to face this battle head-on. It does not mean they are fearless or invincible, but they choose to commit themselves to serve despite the risks. No handwashing there, but God-led strength and courage. They have been my inspiration.
I pray that I can have the same attitude of service despite my worries and fears.

I offer a different perspective on the matter and that Pilate being a man of position was a wise and just person. He knew Jesus was being wrongly accused. He had to deal with the crowd that was brought up to a frenzy to demand the condemnation of Jesus. He tried to appeal to their better judgement by offering the release between Jesus and a clear miscreant of society that is Barrabas. Yet the people demanded the contrary and insisted on releasing Barrabas. At this point Pilate knew there was no appeasing them. He “washed” his hands of the whole thing so that it would be the burden of the people for what would befall Jesus next. Their insistence on having him condemned.

I believe it apt because otherwise the people would not have found themselves responsible for the death of Christ. It would have been convenient to have shrugged it off as a decision made by their leaders and that they had no part in it. But it is truly they that have distanced themselves from the lord. That in stark contrast, it was they that Jesus gave up his life in order to be saved. Its is written as ‘Forgive them father for they know not what They are doing’. Not ‘forgive pilate for he knew not what he was doing’.

By Pilate washing his hands of the matter and not making his own decision, we were not absolved in the betrayal and condemnation of Jesus.

Conversely today we can waffle between blaming our decision makers for making the wrong decisions and making self serving actions that compromise the community quarantine. Do we wash our hands off the whole thing and lay the blame to others who decided on it. What actions do we take to compensate if not correct the wrong done by others. What decisions do we make ourselves and not pass it on for others to make or for us to be pulled along by mob mentality taking action without knowing why.

Hand washing as a responsible act during Covid 19 fight is important. But it should be viewed as compliance to stop the spread of the growing problem of pandemic. My husband and I are senior citizens physician and its so hard for us not to be able to see and treat our patients. Its so hard to delegate our responsibility to younger doctors. And hard to be staying locked at home, but we must abide so as not to add to the current problem. Our only recourse is to pray hard for our frontliners and to reach out to patients in need online.

We let our emotions get the better of us during difficult situations. It’s a human reaction. God knows how guilty I am of that, especially during these difficult times.
Perhaps the best way to overcome this is to ask ourselves, “What would Jesus have done in this same situation?” & pray for an answer.

Handwashing in this context is playing safe and being self-righteous. Help me to make a stand if I know I am right even when I am alone or with a few. Grant me the grace of discerment and wisdom to identify what is right and wrong. And grant me the grace of courage to stand and fight for what is right. Help me to choose what battle I should fight in and I should not.

What I see at this time of pandemic is the form of hand washing of putting blame on those that were trusted by people to lead them. There is a lot blame going around of what should have been done and how it should be done! There are also a lot of Maybes! Maybe it could have done like this or that, then maybe we could have enough of this and that, and maybe we could have save more lives! All these blaming has anyone even thought of putting themselves in the shoes of those people being blamed? Can they themselves handle all those responsibilities? Can they make those decisions between life or death? Just my thoughts at these most Holy and Crucial time! We pray for enlightenment!

Easier to blend in than to go against the grain…it takes so much courage because it is painful to be different; knowing one’s self deeply and one’s values clearly enough to withstand social pressure, to not cross that thin line that will compromise values…tough; takes maturity and special kind of grace to hold one’s ground

As the saying goes, the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for the good to do nothing and this is the kind of distancing and washing of hands we need to avoid. Some posts on social media groups have been upsetting and I end up distancing myself when I see messages of what I have come to call “rich people worries” — where to find delivery of things like milk tea, pastries, etc. — when a lot of people are starving out there. I wish more people would start with appreciating what they have and realizing just how blessed they are. Hopefully this will shorten the distance between “me” and “them”…

“Walang sinuman ang nabubuhay para sa sarili lamang.” Lord, increase my courage not to look the other way, increase my courage to be generous, to love.

Again boils down to not trusting the Lord enough. I can get so weary of myself for fear of suffering. Lord, pls grant me the grace to Trust you more. In trusting you more, I can let go of whatever fear and anxiety I may have in losing my life hence causing me to distance myself from others, preventing me to help them

I cannot count the times I’ve allowed fear, complacency, laziness, and procastination to paralyze me from doing the right thing when I am presented with opportunities to do so. Too many times, I have hidden behind justifications for such sins of ommission and washed my hands from my inaction.

Forgive me Jesus for these many times I have chosen to distance myself from you and gave more importance to my self-preservation and my comfort zone. Grant me the Grace to see clearly and to be as courageous and as trusting as you to respond to the Father’s calling and mission for me.

be more understanding about the situation of others. stop myself from making judgements, but instead think about why others act the way they do, instead of thinking about what inconvenience they are causing. try to put oneself in their shoes to close the distance.

I’ve always wondered why “He suffered under Pontius Pilate” is in the Apostle’s Creed. Pilate did nothing. But it is precisely that – he did nothing when he had the power to do something and change the fate of an Innocent Man. It is this indifference that the Lord is cautioning us against. He always cared for His people. And He calls us to do the same.

I find it hard to be compassionate to someone who has taken advantage of our trust. Lord, help me to forgive and prioritize mercy, not justice.

Ackward, ill at ease, shameful, undeserved…

I believe it is talking to me too, a sinner, to humble myself and allow Jesus to wash me (Sacrament of confession) so that I will become a part of Him again and to wash off the offenses of others who have wronged me as well (forgive)…

Lord, pls wash me of my sins so that I will be one with you again and grant me the grace to be able to wash off the offenses of others who have offended me. Amen ???

Hand-washing in the context of cleansing saves us. On the other hand, washing hands in the context of escaping responsibility condemns us. I pray that the Lord washes me of my inequities, selfishness, greed and inordinate desire for pleasure. I pray that the Lord delivers me from indifference towards my fellowmen and to grant me the heart and courage to carry out Jesus’ command to love my neighbor as myself.

It is so much easier during difficult and challenging times to turn inward like Pilate did and just think of what is safer, more convenient and more advantageous for our own survival, personal gain and self-interest. This is almost instinctive or the way we might have been trained or scripted. However, we know that Jesus’ way is different. We have to consider what is just, what is right, what is merciful and what a Good Samaritan during our times would do. Oftentimes, this way is not easy and that is why we need to always be with Jesus in our journey.

It has been very hard not to express anger and a bit of fear .
Lord, guide me. It feels like I’m hand washing if I don’t express these feelings and thoughts especially when I encounter , as was mentioned, the lack of leadership in our nation, the online anger , or even the betrayal of friends of common principles.
I have opted out as much as I can. And prayed instead even more. Please, Lord, continue to guide me, in my thoughts and in my words and in my actions.

There are two ways of looking at it:
1) Washing one’s hands is a way of doing one’s part for the greater good of all in this pandemic. We do what we can. It is our share. Our contribution. Something we have control of. If we do not do it, we could endanger everyone.
2) Pilate’s washing of his hands was a way of distancing himself from a hard but not popular decision. It is more difficult to stand apart and all alone. Washing hands was going with the flow and making it appear that it is out of your control. It was convenient.

Lord, let me do the little that I can to contribute for the common good while not detaching myself from my responsibilities as a human being and as a citizen. It is easy to say that it is not my problem. Eventually, my brother’s problem becomes my own.

Lord, because of my anxiousness and fear, i have forgotten to be sensitive to the needs of others. Sent forth your Holy Spirit to give me the grace to strengthen my faith and trust in You so that I can be of service to others as well. Amen?

This pandemic has moved me emotionally and spiritually to be more prayerful, primarily, not for my own needs but of the people who are greatly hurt. Praying the rosary is not part of my daily prayer, but now I’m praying the rosary for those who are affected by the virus; the sick people, the frontliners, the poor and the homeless, the leaders and the departed souls. I cry so much in my prayers and I feel helpless. I wanted to send some money home to help, but I’m also financially struggling at the moment. My work is also affected by this pandemic. All schools are close and many Filipinos lost their jobs or source for those who earn daily wages. Last week, the Filipino community here asked
for kind donations of food subsidy for them. My friends from work and I took part in our own small way. Our community also did, praise God!
I pray that God continue to work on me to be compassionate and generous to the needs of others, pandemic or not.

Lord, may Pilate’s kind of hand washing remind us always NOT to avoid distancing ourselves from our neighbors who are in need and not taking responsibility; the washing of hand that excuses us from any responsibility of our neighbor. Instead, let the washing of hands be an act of responsibility and caring. Grant us the grace to follow Jesus’ way of washing His hands so that others may live. May we mirror always His heart full of compassion and love for others.

Without compassion, empathy, love and mercy for others, we will easily succumb to washing our hands of our responsibilities whether as a simple citizen or in a position of leadership. This is why it is so important to understand and value the sacrifice the Lord has done for us so we can be loving and merciful like Him, our Saviour ???

In this period of distancing,I am oftentimes tempted to be in control of things at home, just so all of us keep a good distance from the virus. While it frustrates me that not all may be comfortable with this, it was a bitter pill I have to swallow that others may have their own way of distancing from the virus and that they too are taking precautions. My husband is a physician and he goes to the hospital when patients need him. I am sometimes tempted to focus on our own safety and just let him send patients to another doctor but the prodding of the Spirit tells me to “Trust in the Lord and to let my husband respond to the call of his duty.” It is only then that I become at peace remembering God’s promise.

Hand washing is a very routine part of our lives but at our present context it led me to realized its very profound importance in my physical, emotional, social, spiritual and cultural aspect of my life.
Going beyond its value, it is an opportunity to act responsibly to Jesus commandment of loving God and our neighbors as we love ourselves. Our good actions and intentions are always accompanied by His grace.

Refrain from passing on the hate, it’s so easy on socialmedia. Extend social distancing even in social media!

A Different Kind of Handwashing:
It is because of love for others. There is this inner desire to take part in the common even global strife to end this crisis. This handwashing is for me to care for others that I want to be involved in. I am my brother’s keeper. Pilate’s is completely the opposite. Relinquishing his authority so as not to be involved. It was his easy way out. He weighed more human respect than weighing more on what his heart dictates.
Our handwashing now is not only to distance ourselves from the disease but we want to distance others from this dreadful virus. This effort is to gather everyone to a spiritual unity that this is what God wants of us – serve and love one another!

Hand washing is a powerful act to clean and stop/prevent the virus but as I reflect it could be a form of self-centeredness or selfish act. I am guilty in a way that I always considered myself, what benefits would I got from all the circumstances of life. I always try to focus on myself even if I always wanted to serve. Just like Pilate, sometimes/ always in my life I am at the middle, playing safe andno decision at all. I always try to seek and please other people and it has a great effect in my personality. But today, its a wake up call to me, that in every action, I will do, I will see to it that I am able (truly) to serve others without gaining rewards in return. Its not easy for me but I believe in God’s mercy and love I can resist the temptation and be a service to others.

May I be more like Christ; to be more selfless and loving to others. That I may share my blessings and be God’s instrument to His Will.

Lord, may I be more generous and compassionate to people who are in need. Teach me to to be more sensitive of other people’s feelings, especially during this time of crisis.

Lord Jesus Crist , I begged for your mercy due to my unaccepatable acts against you, especially for those who are in need of my help I did not deliver on them. I am truly very sorry. Amen.

By setting clear limits on what to buy – being mindful of the next customers

By getting what is enough and not beyond what I need

May I be generous with my many blessings. Truly trust God that He will continuously provide for me abundantly so that I can share His blessing with others. Give me Oh Lord a generous heart ………..

May I go out of myself more. To make it a habit to be mindful of other people, of their suffering and pain, as well as their joy from a simple act of kindness.

Courage to do the right thing. Fortitude to love. I think this is what is necessary in order not to wash hands as Pilate did. It is a sacrifice and a gift that we must willingly accept from the Holy Spirit

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