Catholic Faith: Blog
This Catholic Faith Blog is Maintained by the Catholic Rebuttals Research Team. Here You Will Find Responses to Reader's Questions, Catholic Commentary and Other Resources!
As is many traditions in the Catholic Church, this washing of the priest's hands is a symbol of the washing away of his own sin, making him worthy of consecrating the Body and Blood of our Lord.
Over the years my Protestant friends have accused me of following the traditions of man, via Catholic worship, doctrines and devotions. From the critic’s misinformed perspective, I can easily see why these false claims are made against my fellow Catholics and I. Once the critic is enlightened, it is evident that what often times is considered to be a ‘man-made tradition’ is truly a tradition built upon the words of Jesus Christ.
In yesterday’s Gospel Reading, Mark 7:1-13, Jesus condemns the Pharisees because they were only concerned with washing the outside of the body (external environment). If you have ever been to a Catholic Mass, this may shock you - the priest actually washes his hands before consecrating the Eucharist! Jesus emphasizes that it is the heart (internal environment) that must be cleansed and directed toward God, via worship. Merely going through the motions of piety and worship is of little or no value, for the Lord will judge our hearts (Proverbs 3:1-7). Once the heart is cleansed, piety becomes a holy exercises. As is many traditions in the Catholic Church, this washing of the priest's hands is a symbol of the washing away of his own sin, making him worthy of consecrating the Body and Blood of our Lord.