Today’s Thoughts: “Run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others…” These words of Pope Francis echo our scriptures today. True faith is not based on extraordinary signs and wonders. True faith is grounded in the ordinary signs and wonder that we encounter every day. True faith is based in relationships, in experience, in our connections with others that allow God to be present in our life!
Jesus words in the Gospel (John 4:43-54) today are as true for us as they were for the people of Jesus’ time, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.” We are always looking for signs and wonders. If I pray to the Blessed Mother and my prayer is answered I will believe. If I pray to St. Jude and my prayer is answered I will believe. If my friend, my family member is cured of cancer I will believe. If the Blessed Mother, one of the saints, if God would just appear to me and tell me what to do I will believe.
We are always chasing miracles, apparitions something extraordinary and if we can just find one, experience one, we will believe. Or will we? There were many people during Jesus’ time who saw him heal or raise someone from the dead and did not believe or only believed for a short time. Take his disciples as an example, all of the things they saw, all of the experiences they had with Jesus and yet they still ran away. They still betrayed him. They still denied him. Belief is not easy and signs and wonders are not the cure. Living and believing every day requires work. Putting time into our relationship with God, prayer, good works, care and attention to others, especially those in need are what will make faith, belief possible.
There are signs and wonders going on around us every day. The sun rises and sets. People do good things for others. God is present in nature, people and us. We just have to stop and take notice. We have to be willing to stop and look at the ordinary things around us because they will make the extraordinary possible.
God desires nothing but happiness for our lives as we hear in the words of Isaiah (Isaiah 65:17-21) today. The only thing that gets in God’s way is us! There was a commercial a while back, I think for an insurance or investment company and it opened with a person doing something kind for another person. Someone saw the gesture and did something nice or kind for another person. The commercial continued with one act of kindness after another until it came full circle back to the original person and the original act of kindness. Signs and wonders are going on around us every day all we have to do is stop and take notice. If we do – faith, belief in God will be much easier!
Have a blessed Monday everyone!
Fr. Paul R. Fagan, C.P. "Preacher on the Run"
Just a few thoughts to help you on your journey through life...let me know from time to time what you think...