I was recently asked if I believe in miracles. This is a popular question asked of Google and of the many sites that attempt to answer, most agree to the same ten most popular miracles in history. Strangely enough, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead isn’t on any of those lists. Stranger yet, none of the thirty-seven miracles performed by Him chronicled in the New Testament are listed. Oddly enough, most of the ‘ten’ accepted are all related to religion or a religious origin so one can’t assume a bias against religious sources to account for the exclusion of Christ’s miraculous acts. It appears there is a fundamental disconnect between what’s an acceptable miracle and what is not to make these lists. So, the question for you now is, do you believe in miracles? You’d better, because ALL Catholics, by virtue of their Catholicity, must believe in them as well. Why? Simply because the most incredible miracle of all happens every hour of every day somewhere in the world when the bread and wine are consecrated during a liturgy and the miracle of transubstantiation occurs as the two forms become the actual Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! That’s miraculous and you are an eyewitness to that miracle every time you participated in the liturgy of the Eucharist! I’ll bet you never heard anything like this explained to you as you were growing up and I’ll double-down on that bet that you’ve never had any discussion with another person about that miracle after the two of you witnessed it! Why is it that we don’t see the incredible nature of this and instead, hardly ever, or perhaps never, even realize that we’re witnessing a miracle? I think it’s partly because we haven’t learned that our faith is a living, dynamic force within our soul that can only find its outward expression by an act of our will…we must will ourselves to know and believe this miracle and embrace its Truth unconditionally to change our perception of what is taking place on the altar. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states, “The Eucharist is ‘the source and summit of the Christian life’” (CCC 1324) which is quoted directly from St. John Paul II’s encyclical, Lumen Gentium 11. My challenge to you this week is to make a concerted, intentional effort to re-think how you perceive the Eucharistic Liturgy. Is it just another requirement of being a Catholic or is it the greatest miracle of our day that you are a witness to, first hand? Thank you for your prayers and support for our clergy and parish.
Pastor’s Points is a bi-weekly feature about faith, family, and life, from our pastor, Father James Flynn. It is published in our parish bulletins, as well.