In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.
We constantly read about Christ's miracles in the Holy Gospels, and we ask
ourselves, "why is it that such things were possible in those days, and yet we
see so few miracles in our own day?" I think there are three possible answers.
The first is that we do not see the miracles that surround us, we take
everything for granted, as completely natural. We receive all the good things
from the hand of God as though they were normal, and we no longer see that life
is a wonderful, joyful miracle, that God wanted to create us, that He called us
from non-being into being, laid open before us the whole miracle of existence.
Nor did He confine Himself to this. He called us to be His friends for ever,
everlastingly to live the eternal, divine life. He revealed Himself to us; we
know that He is, we know Him in Christ as the God whose love did not falter even
in the face of His own death which was to save those He loves. And what about
those miracles that are even less obvious to us, like health, like peace, like
friendship, like love? They are all pure miracles — you cannot buy them, you
cannot force anyone to give you his heart; and yet all around us there are so
many hearts open to each other, so much friendship, so much love. And our
physical existence which we consider so natural — is not that a miracle?
That is the first point that I wanted to make: that the whole of life is a
miracle. I know, of course, that there is much, very much pain and horror in it,
but at the same time such a quiet yet unwavering light shines in the darkness:
if only we could believe in the light, and so become children of light, as
Christ says, the bearers of light?
There are two more remarks I should like to make. Today we read that the people
were in need, that the apostles noticed this need and spoke to the Lord about
it. And the Lord said: "It is up to you to relieve this need, to feed these
hungry people". "How?" they said, "we have only two fishes and five loaves, can
that possibly be enough for such a crowd?" And Christ blessed those fish and
those loaves and it was enough for the crowd.
So what is expected of us in order that God can freely, by His sovereign power,
perform heavenly miracles on earth? First, that we should notice someone else's
need. So often we pass by it and do not open the door to God to allow Him to
enter and do that which it is impossible for us to do. Let us open our eyes in
order to see the needs of the people around us — material, psychological,
spiritual; the loneliness and longing and countless other needs.
And another thing that the Lord urges upon His disciples is, "give everything
that you have, and we shall be able to feed them all." The disciples did not
leave aside some fish and some bread for themselves, they gave it all to the
Lord. And because they gave everything, the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of love,
the kingdom where God can act freely and untrammelled, was established and all
were satisfied. This call is addressed to us also: when we see want, let us give
all, and all will be well.
Now a final remark: when the paralytic about whom we read a few weeks ago was
brought to Christ He saw the people's faith and cured the sick man. We can
supply the faith that is lacking in those around us, we can carry them on our
faith as on a stretcher. But faith is not enough; in the case of the paralytic
there was not only the faith that the Lord could heal him, but there was caring
love for the sick man. If only there were such love amongst us the beginning of
the Kingdom of God would already be established in our midst, and God could act
Let us consider this, for every one of God's miracles was introduced, and so to
speak conditioned, by the participation of man. It depends on us that the
Kingdom which we pray and long for should be established on earth, that Kingdom
which we are called on to build together with God and in His name. Amen.