Grace to you!
Are miracles necessary in religious experience? Do we need miracles?
Many doubt the power of miracles. Miracles happened in those days. Jesus performed them because they were necessary then, but no longer now, they would argue.
I will reflect on this very important point today. First, let me state what I believe: Miracles still happen, everyday, in homes, in churches, in the lives of believers. It’s part of the blessings of God to us. We should cherish it and rejoice about it.
There are at least thirty seven bible-recorded miracles in the span of three years of the public ministry of Jesus. The miracles of Jesus, which themselves were part of the sign of the Messiah, were intended to show at least two things.
1. Elicit faith in the hearts of people so that they can believe in the Christ. For those who have no faith, miracles have the power of stirring their hearts and opening their eyes to see. Many times (not all the time), faith follows miracles.
If you are involved in the work of evangelization, you will realize that often, God’s healing graces and miracles have a way of opening the hearts of people to the Gospel. This is why there seems to be more manifestation of those miracles in places or cultures for people that do not know Christ. The reason is so they will believe.
2. Miracles are to prepare us for mission. They become the unique point in our life so much so we can say, “Yes, I have seen and now I testify.” Many times, miracles are turning points in people’s life. I have witnessed this many times in my pastoral experience and those of others.
In the Gospel of Luke 5:1-11, we see these two principles at work. The people were hungry for God’s word. Jesus fed them, after which he entered Peter’s boat. Many fathers of the Church call that boat the Church. The Church is the boat. From this boat, the word and mission are set forth.
Jesus tells Peter to cast the net in the deep. Peter had done so all night without success—showing that success isn’t so much about how hard and how smart as some say, but how God, how grace….
Nevertheless, Peter obeyed. The miracle happened. What followed was the commissioning; Peter and a few other apostles were commissioned. From the miracle came a mission—“be fishers of men.”
If you have ever witnessed the miracle of God in your life, I hope you realize that God has done so to increase your faith so you can be an evangelist of God’s love, grace and blessings to others. If you “catch fish,” make others fishers themselves so they can catch fish too.
The miracles you seek are for mission. The miracle you receive is for mission. Always remember this.
May your moments of miracles abound. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday, Week 22 Ordinary Time A: Col 1:9-14; Luke 5:1-11]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.