I’m not sure what the collective noun for miracles is but there is a whole bunch of them in the 8th & 9th chapters of Matthew. Today’s gospel account of Jesus’ healing the two blind men is just one of the many miracles in these two chapters:
Chapter 8: Jesus heals the leper (vs 1-4), Jesus heals a centurion’s servants (vs 5-13), Jesus heals many at Peter’s house (vs 14-17) , Jesus heals the Gadarene Demonics (vs 28-34).
Chapter 9: Jesus heals a paralytic (vs 1-8), a girl restored to life and a woman healed (vs. 18-26), Jesus heals the two blind men (vs 27-31), Jesus heals the mute man (vs 32-34).
I sometimes catch myself thinking that it might have been much easier to follow Jesus if I had heard him preach and witnessed his miracles. But I fear that while I would have been curious about what Jesus was saying and doing I would probably be like the masses who within hours of witnessing miracles were finding fault in him and calling for his crucifixion.
Perhaps this is why immediately after healing the two blind men Jesus “sternly” ordered the people not to speak about this healing. But the people couldn’t help themselves and “spread word” everywhere.
In his homily at Mass on the final morning of last month’s Christchurch priests’ retreat Bishop Paul Martin spoke about the importance of words as a tool of sharing our life of faith. He suggested that the saying attributed to Francis of Assisi (Preach the gospel at every moment and if absolutely necessary use words) is too often used to downplay the importance and power of words.
St Ambrose (Bishop of Milan in 4th century and whose feast we celebrate today) made the same point when he wrote to the people of his diocese saying:
“…let your words be rivers, clean and limpid, so that in your exhortations you may charm the ears of your people. And by the grace of your words win them over to follow your leadership… Solomon says: The weapons of the understanding are the lips of the wise; and in another place he says: Let your lips be bound with wisdom. That is, let the meaning of your words shine forth, let understanding blaze out. See that your addresses and expositions do not need to invoke the authority of others, but let your words be their own defence. Let no word escape your lips in vain or be uttered without depth of meaning”.
- Take the opportunity today to carefully choose and share some words as an encouragement for a friend, family member, work-mate and also for a stranger you pass by chance.
- Throughout the day ahead look for evidence in your own life that the age of miracles is not past. Like those who witnessed Jesus miracles, share your own experience of the presence and action of Jesus in your life with a friend or perhaps with Food For Faith readers as a comment below.