Belief Briefs - Do miracles really happen?

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Reflection

Do miracles really happen?

At one point in your life, you’ll be seated next to someone you love lying on her death bed.

And when all hope seems lost, whether you’re religious or not, you’ll bow your head and say, “God, if you’re listening, I need a miracle.”

Whatever the result, God really does hear your plea.

It goes without saying though that not every prayer gets the response we want.

So when and why does God perform miracles? For a clue, let’s look to the miracles of Jesus.

He healed people of disease, drove out demons and fed thousands with just a few loaves and fish. Why these miracles?

In short, Jesus’ miracles are a grand announcement.

They signal something even bigger than the miracles themselves.

Jesus is announcing that He was sent by the Father and that He came to heal our broken relationship with God.

We became separated from God through sin.

Jesus, by dying on the cross and rising again, has come to free us from sin and reconcile us with the Father.

Your prayers – God hears them with compassion. But if the miracle you’ve asked for doesn’t happen, it’s not because He fell short. Consider that he may be planning something greater for you and the one you love.

 

Reflection Questions

  1. Prayerfully read and reflect upon one of the miracles of Jesus named above. What was the situation before the miracle? How did Jesus’ action change things?

  2. What do miracles teach us about God?

  3. Choose one of the stories of a Canadian Saint from the reading list below.  What type of miracle is associated with him or her, and how does hearing their story help us today?

 

Sources from Scripture and Tradition

  1. Some of the Miracles performed by Jesus:
  2. Thomas á Kempis (d. 1471):
    Nowhere in the world has so great a miracle occurred as in that little stable in Bethlehem; here God and man became one.”Cited in Youcat, page 59.

  3. St. John Paul IICatechesi Tradendae 9.

 

Teaching from the Catechism of the Catholic Church on Miracles

  1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraphs 156, 548, 561, 1335, and 2003
  2. Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Questions 108, 276, 424
  3. Youcat: Youth Catechism of the Catholic Church, with a Foreword by Pope Benedict XVI. ©2011, Ignatius Press, Questions 90-91,  pp. 59-60.

 

For Further Reading

  1. Pope Francis, “Prayer works Miracles, Morning Meditation in the Chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae, 20 May 2013

  2. “A Church of Miracles” by Michael O’Neill, in Our Sunday Visitor, July 6, 2016

  3. “It’s a Miracle: Lourdes Healing Officially Declared Supernatural” in report by Catholic News Agency, February 12, 2018

  4. “Saint Kateri Tekakwitha” (See also “The Saints and Blesseds of Canada”)