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Posts Tagged ‘miracles’


Friday, July 17, 2020

The-least-of-things-with-a-meaning-is-worth-more-in-life-than-the-greatest-of-things-without-it.[1]Job 8:21

At First Glance

Once more God will fill your mouth with laughter, and your lips with rejoicing.

In a world that yearns for the best, the most, the highest, the tallest, the greatest in all things, we lose sight of the tiny and what appears to be unimportant.  God’s plan always works through inversion; God transforms our suffering and brings forth joy; God calls the smallest of us for the greatest of tasks.  We have the choice to choose the false life of bigness or the eternal life of the seemingly insignificant.

God says: Do you not see the many little miracles in which you take part with me each day?  I know. The same blindness overcame the first apostles until I sent them out in twos to heal and cure.  They, like you, are still surprised when I invite them to join me in my Way of Love.  But you see that I must send you into the world so that you will fully experience my presence in the healing you do each day.  My loyal servant Job was seen as a sinner by his friends. They erred in their thinking. Job’s loyalty and unwavering fidelity kept him bound to me. His family, friends and foes saw only pain where Job saw possibility.  Job remained in the world and allowed me to bring him to his fullness. My goodness calls forth laughter from your tears.  Your constancy calls forth rejoicing from your sorrow.  You must go out as I have asked. And you must trust me.

This is a difficult lesson to learn and it requires much trust.  When we have the time to read Job’s entire story we see that God does indeed abide with the little and the small.  We will see that God cares for the marginalized and the dispossessed.  God brings laughter and rejoicing to those who experience anxiety and pain.  What appears at first glance to be insignificant is – in the scope of eternity – the greatest of all.

For more reflections, enter the word inversion in the blog search bar and explore.


For more Carl Jung quotes, click on the image above or go to: http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Carl_Jung

Information on the life and work of the Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist Carl Jung, go to: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Carl-Jung 

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Thursday, June 18, 2020

Biliverti: The Archangel Raphael Refusing Tobias' Gift

Giovanni Biliverti: The Archangel Raphael Refusing Tobias’ Gift

Tobit 12

Raphael Makes Himself Known

This beautiful story comes to us today to remind us that we need to make known the many small miracles we receive from God.  Each time God inverts a plot, we must share the story.  Each time God saves us from our own fears we must tell the good news.  Each time God heals a wounded heart we must make God’s goodness known.

We have read this story before but today we find something new.

Verse 6: Raphael called the two men aside privately and said to them: “Thank God! Give him the praise and glory.  Before all the living, acknowledge the many good things he has done for you, by blessing and extolling his name in song.  Honor and praise God’s deeds and do not be slack in praising him”.

The healing hand of God manifests itself frequently in our lives through strangers.  When Tobit and Tobias wish to give a monetary reward to Tobias’ traveling companion for all the healing he has done in their lives, the Archangel Raphael reveals himself . . . and rather than take payment, asks them to praise God who has answered their cry for help and has rescued them.

Verse 10: But those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies.

We are reminded that when we sin, we are separating ourselves from God and hurting ourselves.  The first step toward healing is recognizing that we are human and imperfect . . . and acknowledging that God is all and that God alone is enough.

Verse 14: . . . and now the Lord has sent me to heal you.

We can heal one another and in so doing also heal ourselves . . . and act as co-redeemers of the human race with Christ.  For we are adopted daughters and sons of God.

Verses 17 and 18: And Raphael said to them: “No need to fear.  You are safe.  Thank God now and forever.  As for me, when I came to you it was not out of any favor on my part, but because it was God’s will.  So continue to thank him every day; praise him with song”. 

Fear not . . . these are the same healing words which Jesus speaks.

Verse 22: They kept thanking God and singing his praises; and they continued to acknowledge these marvelous deeds which he had done when the angel of God appeared to them.

Let us proclaim all God’s wonderful works for God has sent angels to minister to us even though we might not see them.  Let us tell everyone we know the stories of our own healing for these are miracles performed for us by a loving God.  And let us remember to thank God for all that God does to heal us of all that limits us.


For more about Raphael, Tobit or Tobias, enter their names in the blog search bar and reflect on the gift of this story.

Adapted from a reflection written on January 2, 2008.

Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Biliverti

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Thursday, May 21, 2020

universe[1]Galatians 5:7-12

Be Not Mislead

This Pauline citation is perfect for us to read when we come up against an obstacle that looks unmovable. It reminds us that with God, all things are possible. Paul is writing in reference to the split which nearly happens in the early church between two factions: those who want to require circumcision of men before entrance into the church and those who do not. A lively conversation takes place but the miracle of unification occurs and the church as Christ begins it remains intact and flourishes. We can read the details in ACTS.

I once heard miracles defined as the possibilities we dream that already exist but that cannot be seen with human eyes, cannot be heard with human ears, cannot be touched with human hands. In the documentary/fictional story What the Bleep Do We Know?, we are reminded to hope for our impossible petitions in a daily litany.  The creators of this film examine how we might adjust our perspective just slightly so that we might see as God sees because – as we know – with God all things are possible.

It is worth our while to sit with a good study Bible and a concordance to examine the many times we are told in scripture . . . With God, all things are possible.  The effects of these five simple words are healing.  The reality of this short sentence is more real than the world we imagine we live in.

Each time we repeat these words and believe them a layer of anxiety slips away.  Each time we witness to God’s impossible possibilities a new strength and boldness lifts our spirit.  Each time we admit to the quiet miracles that pepper our lives, a new patience and serenity infuse our bones.

We must give ourselves the gift of allowing the Easter reality of impossible possibilities to be our reality.  We must petition God each day with our list of impossible requests and ask that God consider them as our realityAnd we must not allow ourselves to be misled by the pessimism of the world for as we so well know from our daily Noontime with scripture . . . with God, all things are possible.

May all of our miracles that we ask of God come to fullness in our new impossible reality.


If you have two hours, click on this link and watch: What the Bleep Do We Know? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6G3-Zc9mtM  Critics comment that it misrepresents science and makes awkward connections between quantum physics and spirituality.  Others say that is an invitation to think in a new way.  In either case, this thinking is worth our reflection. 

To read about the surprising links scientists are finding in the universe, click on the image or visit: https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/1203420/space-universe-discovery-news-galaxy-astronomy-physics-lightyears 

Adapted from a Noontime written on May 2, 2007.

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Third Sunday of Lent, March 15, 2020

Luke 23:6-16: Herod

Andrea Schiavone: Christ with Herod

Andrea Schiavone: Christ with Herod

Herod was very glad to see Jesus . . .

He had been waiting to see him for a long time . . .

He had heard about him . . .

He had been hoping to see him perform some sign . . .

We are so eager to know Christ; we bring our small and big worries to his feet.  We have heard so much about him.  We are hoping that he will cure our woes and still our anxiety.  We have some specific tasks for him to complete for us; we hold a short but good list of wrongs for him to right.

Herod questioned Jesus at length . . .

But Jesus gave him no answer . . .

Herod treated Jesus contemptuously and mocked him . . .

Herod and the guards clothed Jesus in resplendent garb and sent him back to Pilate . . .

We have a lot of questions for Jesus and we present our daily list of petitions faithfully; but – strangely – it seems that Jesus is not listening.  There are no answered requests for us to tick off our list.  We feel disappointed and even let down.  We wonder if the naysayers are correct . . . perhaps there is no resurrection.  Perhaps we believe in folly.

Herod decides to have Jesus flogged and released.  Pilate washes his hands of the man. 

We have passed the half-way mark in our Lenten journey and so we take an accounting.  We have given alms.  We have fasted.  We have attended morning and evening prayer.  We have participated in the sacrament of reconciliation.  We have checked off our chores like small children pleasing our parents and still our little lists of favors, pleas and signs appear to be left unanswered.  We wonder if Jesus is listening and we continue to look for a sign.

Herod was very glad to see Jesus . . .

He had been waiting to see him for a long time . . .

He had heard about him . . .

He had been hoping to see him perform some sign . . .

We arise each morning to fresh water, food and clothing for the day, transportation, information, friendships.  We travel through the day experiencing little miracles all along the way, little signs of God’s love.  And we somehow miss them.

Evening falls and we count our accomplishments and disappointments.  We enter them into a mental balance sheet and come up with a balance.  We take credit for all that goes well and we assign blame to ourselves or others for all that seems to fail.  And we again miss the miracle that we have wandered through another day in the company of a God who loves us so much that we are never left alone for an instant.

Herod sits and speaks with Jesus and does not understand the miracle of the gift of God’s love.  We too might speak with Jesus each day and open ourselves to the wonder of God’s care.

Herod looks for a momentous sign so that he might have full confidence in Jesus’ power to save and while he is scanning his surroundings he looks past the obvious sign that sits before him . . . the embodiment of God’s protection and promise in the person of Jesus.  We too might look past the obvious today . . . or we might choose to believe.

Herod wants a sign that he already has.  Let us take each small miracle as it comes to us.  And let us remember that the sign of God’s love is always with us.  Jesus never leaves our side.


Image from: http://www.kunst-fuer-alle.de/english/fine-art/artist/image/andrea-schiavone/8293/4/111915/christ-before-herod/index.htm

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Friday, February 28, 2020

Hosea 2: Expectation

loaves[1]What does God expect of us?

Where is God?

How can God expect so much from us?

Why does God allow us to feel so alone/exasperated/angry/sad?

If we hear ourselves asking these questions endlessly with no hope of understanding, we may need to turn these questions on their heads and think of them in their inverted state.

What do we expect of God?

Where have we put God in our lives?

Why do we expect so little from God?

Why do we turn away from God when we are alone/exasperated/angry/sad?

We spend time today in our Lenten journey with Chapter 2 of Hosea’s prophecy in which the prophet’s unfaithful wife, Gomer, is described.  Metaphorically, this wife is each one of us when we reject the conditions in which we find ourselves.  As difficult as our problems may be, they are our lesson plans in life, our stepping stones to self-discovery and to serenity.  Once we learn to turn everything over to God, the sorrow and anger slip away.  And we suddenly find that we are more at peace with the circumstances that surround us.

In John’s Gospel story of the feeding of thousands (6:1-15) we see that Jesus asks the disciples how they want to feed so many – John writes: He said this to test them.  This does not mean that Jesus wants to throw his friends into turmoil; it means that Jesus wants to see how they hope to solve the problem before them.  Do they resort to themselves, or do they rely on God in any way?

We must remember to ask for miracles, because God wants to grant them.

We must remember to take our woes to God, because God welcomes them and erases them.

We must remember to leave our sadness in God’s hands, because he heals all mourning with his deep and abiding love.

Hosea laments his unfaithful wife.  God misses us when we leave him behind.  Why do we try to solve everything on our own?  And why do we expect so little from God?


Image from: http://ymiblogging.org/2011/06/the-little-boy-and-the-feeding-of-the-five-thousand/

Tomorrow: Our Search for Happiness.

Written on May 6, 2011. Revised and posted today as a Favorite.

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Saturday, January 25, 2013

2 Kings 5: The Cure of Naaman

Pieter de Grebber: Elisha Refusing the Gifts of Naaman

Pieter de Grebber: Elisha Refusing the Gifts of Naaman

Naaman is cured of leprosy not by his faith alone but through the faith and encouragement of a small child who believes in Yahweh and the power of his prophets.  It is worth our while to read this story and examine commentary and footnotes because once we do – and this may seem unbelievable – we will find that we have a greater understanding of the modern world we live in today.

Through the child in this story we see that prophets are not the only ones among us who are called to heal, cure and serve as instruments for miracles. We see that we are also called to heal one another either with the direct laying on of hands, or by our intercessory prayers.

Jesus tells us in a very clear way that we must pray for our enemies: You have heard it said, “Love your neighbor and hate your enemy”.  But I tell you: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you . . . If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?  Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?  (Matthew 5: 43-47)

Christ constantly presents us with a world of inversion. We die in order to be born; we give in order to receive; we sit at the lowest seat in order to be called higher; we humble ourselves so that we might be exalted.  The examples Jesus gives us are endless.   Today we hear God’s urging to heal others, even those who harm us, so that we in turn are healed.

I believe that we are called to be healers, even when wounded ourselves, because the prayers of a victim rise ever so quickly to God’s altar. God, in all of his compassion and mercy and desire to love, will reward the prayer of one who is wounded who – like God – forgives and then petitions healing for the abuser.

We must be present in spirit to our fellow pilgrims, and when we wade into the river of forgiveness, just as Naaman enters the river Jordan, we will find that the our willingness to intercede for our enemies will wash away the things of this world.  Suddenly we find ourselves present to the Spirit. And just as suddenly we will know that we, like Naaman, will “know that there is no God in all the earth, except in Israel.”  This one God, this Yahweh, sent his son to heal us and ransom us from our dark place.   It is this God who calls us to heal one another . . . so that we in turn may be healed.


First written on May 31, 2007.  Re-written and posted today as a Favorite. 

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Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Acts 12:18-25: Herod’s End

King Herod

King Herod

“Miracles granted and yet not believed.  We are so quick to explain away the simple answer that God is always accompanying us”.  This is the closing line of our Noontime reflection Expect MiraclesToday we see what becomes of Herod when he attempted to make himself a god.  It is not a pretty end. 

At the beginning of this chapter we find Herod persecuting the Christians; he has James killed and had Peter arrested.  In the central portion of this chapter, we read about the miracle that God brings about to free Peter, and then we have the closing that describes the end of the man who would set himself up as a god . . . he was eaten by worms and breathed his last.  Notes tell us that Josephus describes this same accounting of events and that the people of the time saw it as divine punishment.  We can only speculate about the effects of his death on the people but still, we are given something to chew over here.  We are reminded once again that . . . God is in charge.  We cannot make something happen that is not part of God’s plan.  Nor can we prevent something from happening that is a part of God’s plan.

We are also reminded that miracles happen under our noses every day that we are so quick to explain away the simple answer that God is always accompanying us. 

Herod missed his opportunity to know new life.  He believed that he might force his vision of the world on others, and we see how wrong he was.  He believed that he understood how the world really works, and we see how wrong he was.  He believed that he could bring to bear every resource available to end this movement that had plagued the region since the appearance of the magi who followed a bright star to Bethlehem, and we see how wrong he was.

Miracles are granted to us every day yet we are so quick to explain away the simple answer that God is always accompanying us.

The miracle of the gift of Jesus is something that Herod would not acknowledge.  The miracle of the hope of Jesus is a possibility that Herod wanted to erase because it was beyond his control.  The miracle of the resurrection of Jesus and the promise of our own resurrection is something we do not want to miss, for we have read and understood Herod’s end.  So let us not forget that . . . Miracles are granted to us every day yet we are so quick to explain away the simple answer that God is always accompanying us.


For more on the miracle of Peter’s deliverance from Herod’s prison, see the Expect Miracles page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/miracles/expect-miracles/

Written on August 23, 2010 and re-written today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://pleasantstreetumc.blogspot.com/2011/12/advent-devotion-for-december-10.html

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Matthew 15:29-31: Healing

Monday, July 15, 2019

The people healed by Christ respond with worship, they recognize that God moves among them in the person of Jesus . . . and they give thanks.

I am wondering how many times I have been healed by the Christ who comes to me through friends, colleagues, students, family . . . or even strangers.  I am certain that it has been frequent.  When these miracles happen, do I pause long enough, ardently thanking the God who created me?  Do I ask for next miracle as soon as this one has passed?  Do I pause to allow the mystery of my encounter with God to sink into and through me?

Am I waiting actively, patiently, openly, honestly?

And for what am I waiting?  An end, a beginning, a renovation?

This I know, I know that love endures . . . and that patience brings wisdom . . . and that I need not know every turn of the road that lies ahead of me.  This I know, that I am well-loved, well watched over.  Every small problem is noted.  Each tiny sigh is heard.  All sorrows and tears are seen and tended to.

We need not worry about what is to come.  We only need worry about our reaction to the healing we receive each day n so many small ways.   It is always the small things that matter.

Today’s Gospel is from Mark (5:21-43) in which we hear again the stories of the raising of Jairus’ daughter and the healing of the  woman who suffered from endless hemorrhages.  They were healed quickly and fully by Christ’s hand and life’s inversion showed itself to them completely.  Christ walks among us today . . . beckoning, calling, touching and healing.  What is it we wait for?  What is it we look for?  What is it we long for?  Is it possible that in Christ’s inversion the miracle we seek has already touched us . . . and we have allowed this healing to pass by . . . or entirely un-noticed . . . or noticed and fully praised?


A re-post from July 2, 2012.

For more on the stories in today’s Gospel, see The Tassles on Our Cloaks post on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/2011/09/10/the-tassels-on-our-cloaks/

For more reflections on healing go to the Miracles page on this blog at: https://thenoontimes.com/miracles/

Image from: http://psbible.blogspot.com/2011/06/healing-of-man-born-blind.html

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Ezra 10:16-44: The Guilty

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tower of David Ruins: Jerusalem

At the time that the Jews were returning from their exile, Ezra condemns certain priests who intermarried with the Gentiles strayed from Yahweh.  Their solution?  To sever relationships with wives and children and make a guilt offering.  This is a course of action appropriate for their time but it is not the action that New Testament people will take.  If we are People of the Restoration, People of Resurrection and healing, we will build bridges where there is dissent and conflict.  We will look for compassionate yet just ways to maintain contact and to heal breaches in relationships.

Let us welcome the guilty . . . for we are among them.

Let us forgive . . . for we are forgiven

From the MAGNIFICAT morning intercessions.

You made all human beings in your image: fill us with reverence for one another.  Hear your children’s plea!

You restored us in your image through the work of the cross: teach us to work to restore the dignity of all those degraded by the works of evil.  Hear your children’s plea!

You raise us to newness of life in Jesus Christ: fill us always with Easter joy.  Hear your children’s plea!


Written on April 16, 2008 and posted today as a Favorite.

Image from: http://www.moderatotours.com/easter_abroad.html

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Morning.” MAGNIFICAT. 4.16 (2008). Print.

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