Jesus perform miracles
In the Gospel of Luke 7:19-23 “Summoning two of his disciples, John sent them to ask the Lord, ‘are you He who is to come? Or do we expect someone else?’ When the men came to him they said, “John the Baptizer sends us to you with this question: ‘Are You “He who is to come” or do we look for someone else?’” At that time he was curing many of their diseases, afflictions, and evil spirits; he also restored sight to many who were blind. Jesus gave this response, “Go and report to John what you have seen and heard. The blind recover their sight, cripples walk, lepers are cured, the deaf hear, dead men are raised to life, and the poor have the good news preached to them.” It is interesting that Jesus does not say yes or no to John’s question. He points to His miracles.
This is one of the scripture readings that the church gives us to read when a priest administers the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. The Anointing of the Sick is the sacrament which is most connected with healing. In this sacrament the priest prays for healing for the sick person. There ought to be a hopeful expectation of healing of the person’s soul and in many cases the person’s body.
Jesus is actually pointing to the Old Testament prophecies of Isaiah. Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would work miracles. We read in Isaiah 29: 18-19 “On that day the deaf shall hear. And out of gloom and darkness the eyes of the blind shall see. The lowly will ever find Joy in the Lord and the poor rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.”
Let us just look at a small section of the Gospel of Matthew. We see many healings in chapters 8 and 9 alone: Jesus heals a man with leprosy Matt 8: 1-4, the healing of a Centurion’s servant Matt 8: 5-13, the curing of Peter’s mother-in-law Matt 8: 14-15. ( A little joke: why did Peter deny our Lord? Answer: because He healed his mother–in-law.) Then we read in Matt 8: 16-17,”When it was evening they brought him many who were possessed by demons, and he cured all the sick, to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: ‘He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases.’
We see other miracles of healing in Matthew such as miracles over nature in Matt 8: 23-27 when Jesus calms the storm with a single command. Chapter 8 ends with the healing of the Gadarene Demoniacs.
A quick view of Matthew chapter 9 will further reinforce the point that Jesus worked many miracles. We read in Matthew chapter 9 about a healing of a paralytic, the healing of the official’s daughter, healing of the woman with a hemorrhage, the healing of the two blind men, and the healing of the mute person. Mathew’s Gospel ends with,” Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.”
The Catechism of the Catholic Church says in Par 547 “Jesus accompanies his words with many “mighty works and wonders and signs,” which manifest that the Kingdom is present in him and attest that he was the promised Messiah.” This paragraph from the Catechism references Acts 2:22 when Peter says on the first homily at Pentecost, “You are Israelites, hear these words. Jesus the Nazorean was a man commended to you by God with mighty deeds, wonders and signs, which God worked through him in your midst as you yourself know.”
We read in Par 548, “The signs worked by Jesus attest that the Father has sent him. They invite belief in Him…so miracles strengthen faith in the One who does his Father’s work; they bear witness that He is the Son of God.
The First Vatican Council said this about miracles: “If anyone should say that all miracles are impossible and consequently all accounts of them, even those found in the Holy Scripture, are to be taken as fabulous and mythical, or that miracles can never be known with certainty and that they do not provide valid proof of the divine origin of the Christian religion: let him be an anathema.”
So miracles were essential to the ministry of Jesus. Jesus taught and he healed. Most scholars believe that 35 percent of Jesus ministry was given to healing and working miracles.
And even this might not give the full picture. One writer said, “whenever we read the Gospel we see Jesus leaving one healing and going to perform another.” We see many references to Jesus’ life when we read about Jesus performing miracles. In these passages we get glimpses of the vast numbers that Jesus healed: “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. “ Mk 1:33-34, “and wherever he went into the villages, towns or countryside they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged him to let them touch even the edge of his cloak, and all who touched him were healed.” Mk 5:15
Now the greatest miracle is the resurrection. It is the reality that Jesus rose from the dead, that we are set free. We read in 1 Cor 15:14 “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” The Resurrection you can say is the Miracle of Miracles.
We can touch the Risen Lord in the Eucharist. In the Catechism Par 1323 we read, “At the last supper, on the night he was betrayed, our Savior instituted the Eucharistic Sacrifice of his Body and Blood. This he did in order to perpetuate the sacrifice of the cross throughout the ages until he should come again, and so to entrust to his beloved spouse, the Church, a memorial of his death and resurrection: a sacrament of love, a sign of unity, a bond of charity, a Paschal banquet ‘in which Christ is consumed, the mind is filled with grace, and a pledge of future glory is given to us.”
Question: If miracles are so vital to the ministry of Jesus how come we don’t see more miracles in the Church today? The answer is that we do: In the Eucharist Jesus gives us his Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity. In the Eucharist we touch the Risen Lord.
Blessing Fr Stefan
Expect your Miracle