Why Don’t We See Miracles Today?
Why don’t more miracles happen in our churches today? Jesus came so we might have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) He is the same yesterday today and tomorrow. (Hebrews 13:8) In Matthew, chapter 8 Jesus healed all who came to Him in faith. Jesus with all His power and divinity is present in every Eucharist. Yet most people never see healings or miracles.
The summer of 2006 I went to St Antonius in Newark for Sunday mass and miracles happened there. There was a woman diagnosed with terminal cancer and given a month to live in July. She was prayed over after mass and given water from Lourdes to drink. A month later she was back in church cancer-free and testifying to God’s goodness. A friend of mine was told he would be on depression medication for life was able to stop the medication. My sister’s fibromyalgia disappeared the next summer after she was prayed over. What made this church different?
Maybe it was the attitude of the people attending. Rather than coming late and rushing off to breakfast right after communion they came for a mass that usually lasted 2 hours. They had 2 entrance songs, 2 Offertory songs and a homily that lasted longer than some masses I’ve attended. Rather than rush out complaining people bought CD’s of the homily to share.
Some of the people there drove 45 minutes in each direction. The collection from maybe 250 people topped $6, 000 one week. The people there were not doing the minimum, giving God as little as possible. They weren’t there fulfilling an obligation or because they had to go to mass. They came out of love, wanting to worship the God who loves them. They came wanting to learn and grow in their faith. They came expecting God to bless them.
Contrast that with your typical parish. At our 5:00 mass we still have people arriving at 5:10. During Communion the extraordinary minister who does the balcony has to fight his or her way through the crowd leaving as soon as they received communion. You can be sure that some of the people at mass were thinking about what they would have for dinner or how long the lines will be at Gino’s. Is it any wonder we don’t see miracles?
Too often we give God as little as possible. We come in late, focus on whose there or not there or what someone is wearing. We take no time to prepare and often complain about the sermon being too long. We get out of the mass what we put into it?
“Thus says God, “Why do you transgress the commandments of the
Lord so that you can not prosper?” (2 Chronicles 24:20) Interesting question, isn’t it? I bet most of us didn’t know that was in the Bible. Is there another wonder this country is in the shape it is?
How can we expect God to bless this nation if we throw His commandments back in His face? We’ve redefined the family. We’ve assumed the power of God in deciding life or death by aborting our children. We act as if we’re God. Too often we hear people say they don’t need our God.
Take a good look, how well have we done on our own power? Look at the mess in Iraq. We can’t stop Isis. Iraq is worse off than it was before we got there. Terrorism is still a threat to this country. Our cities aren’t safe and crime has spread to the countryside. Frankly our economy stinks. Our country is sinking under debt. Our government is incompetent.
Hasn’t the events of this century proven how much we need God’s protection, how incapable we are of taking care of ourselves. How many disasters have there been? How much damage to this country has been caused by natural disasters? How many senseless shootings have there been in the past 15 years? How many school shootings? There have been weekends when the number of dead and wounded in our cities was greater than in Afghanistan. Shouldn‘t we be worried about that?
How many people are hurting because of the economy? How many people can’t afford to retire? How many college educated people can’t find decent full-time work? How many people have lost their homes? But we don’t need God, right?
We need to take a good look at our sins, not just the ones most people are upset about, gay marriage or abortion but also greed, exploitation, prejudice to name a few. Have we really followed the commandment to love God above all else or to love our neighbor as ourself?
One question we need to ask ourselves is are our hearts on fire or are we only lukewarm. Jesus warned us in Revelation not to be lukewarm, that He would spit us out. So is your heart on fire?
Does your heart ache for all those who are lost? Do you look at all the empty seats in church and ache for those who are missing out? Do you burn with the desire to bring people closer to God? Do you long to reach out to people and bring them to Jesus? Do you even notice those who are lost?
Do you feel the pain of those who are hurting, those suffering physically from illness or emotionally? Do you look at hurting people and see those Jesus longs to touch? Do you long to reach out and touch them with the love of Jesus? Do we weep for those who suffer?
We are told by Paul to put on the mind of Jesus? Jesus wept for the people of Jerusalem, those who would not respond to His love. We need to reach out to those who are lost, those who are hurting. We need to be filled with zeal, always reaching out and never satisfied. Too many people are lost. Too many people are suffering. Too many people need to be touched by Jesus. We are His hands
One of the many blessings I’ve had in my life was to spend several summers as a volunteer at Camp Andrew Jackson, part of the Christian Appalachian Project. Part of every day’s schedule included Bible School and prayer before each meal and at night before bed. I remember one camper from the summer of 89. He was maybe 6 or 7 and the last place he wanted to be was in Bible School. It seemed like he literally climbed the walls for that period.
What we basically did was love him and the other campers and encouraged them with praise. We praise their attempts at prayer and their participation. Most of us never knew if anything we did or said had any effect. Several years later he was part of a group of campers I picked up in the camp van. I was amazed at the questions he asked. What he was most interested in was the Bible School program. I thought we had failed with this child but something we did or said stuck. The seeds we had planted had taken root and the wild child had turned into a fine Christian.
I’ve seen the same thing happen with 3 of my friends. Children for whom they had prayed for many years came back to the church. Often they felt it was hopeless but they kept praying and praying. God answered their prayers. We can’t give up. We may not see the effects of what we do but our job is to plant seeds, love people and pray. God will do the rest in his timing.