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Posts Tagged ‘miracles’


Mark 9:1-7: Jesus Transfigured

Icon: The Transfiguration

Icon: The Transfiguration

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Rather than ask for a sign of our worthiness or God’s presence, we might act on the opportunity we are given to witness to Christ’s transformation as did Peter, James and John.

When we pause in the rush of life to examine those around us . . .

When we listen for God’s voice and do as God bids us . . .

When we are loving in our approach to enemies . . .

When we are patient with ourselves, faithful to our covenant, hopeful that our impossible dreams will be realized . . .

We see miraculous conversions taking place around us constantly . . . and this is our sign.

We witness the transformation of the members of Christ’s Mystical Body, we discover that we ourselves are transfigured . . . and this is our sign.

We see the blessing of the gifts offered by the Holy Spirit . . . and this is our sign.

We keep vigil at the tomb to witness to the Resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of ourselves and so we begin to fully understand that it is through his own transfiguration that Christ transfigures each of us. And this surely and simply and certainly is our sign . . . that we are well and truly loved by God.


For more on icons, click on the image above or visit: https://iconreader.wordpress.com/2011/08/06/transfiguration-icon-the-event-and-the-process/ 

Adapted from a favorite written on March 22, 2008.

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Mark 6:1-6Jesus of Nazareth

Diego Velázquez: Christ Cricufied - The Prado Museum, Madrid

Diego Velázquez: Christ Crucified – The Prado Museum, Madrid

Friday, August 26, 2022

“What is this wisdom that is given to him?  What mean such miracles wrought by his hands?” . . .  And Jesus marveled at their unbelief.  (Douay)

“Where did this man get all this?  What kind of wisdom has been given him?  What mighty deeds are wrought by his hands?”  . . .  He was amazed at their lack of faith.  (NAB)

“This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary, the brother of James and Joseph and Jude and Simon?  His sisters, too, are they not here with us?”  And they would not accept him. . . .  He was amazed at their lack of faith.  (Jerusalem Bible)

“Where did he get the things he is teaching?” they said.  How can he perform such miracles?”  . . .  He was amazed at their unwillingness to believe.  (William Barclay translation)

When I reflect on the Crucifixion, call to mind the image created by Diego Velázquez that tells us – much like Marks’s Gospel – of the stark reality of the love Jesus, this God-man, has for each of us. It seems to me that Velázquez has captured the unambiguous difference between the healing, merciful Christ and the Jesus of Nazareth who is disbelieved in his own town. The mystical eeriness produced by the floating cross coupled with the universality of Jesus’ half-covered face allow us to personalize this image with our own version of the very human Christ.

I imagine that our own lack of faith proves a heavy obstacle to the performing of miracles and to the healing of bodies and souls; yet Jesus of Nazareth abides. He still performs the impossible.

Let us invite this Jesus into our homes today and every day. Let us open our hearts and minds to the wild possibilities he dares to dream with us.  Let us gather together as his resurrected body to bring healing and hope to one another.


Use the scripture link above to explore other translations of these verses.

Adapted from a favorite written on June 8, 2008. 

Image from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Featured_picture_candidates/Crucified_Christ_(Vel%C3%A1zquez)

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Luke 24:1-12: Our Story – Part III, Resurrection Luke24-5-6

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

For the past two days we have reflected on the story of our lives. Today we remember the good news of Jesus’ story. 

We can never read this part of The Story too many times; the gift is too precious, the love too prized . . . and then he went home amazed at what had happened. 

We live in a world that is too casual about the miracles that happen before us constantly. Medicine has advanced; yet not enough to please all our wishes. We produce food in record amounts; yet millions go hungry each day. Energy sources seem limitless; yet we pollute the world and kill God’s creatures – and ourselves – in our greed. And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s goodness in our lives.

We go to the food market and there is an abundance; and we credit ourselves with the harvest. We go to clothing stalls where too many varieties of the same shoe tempt us to buy; and we complain that there is nothing to wear. We drive through neighborhoods with empty or underused homes; and we never seem to be able to house the homeless. And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s generosity in our lives.

We are self-centered beings who have difficulty seeing beyond our noses. We cry out for help when we need it, and casually put God as the last item on our agendas when times are good. In the peace that follows conflict we gear up for more strife. We become so accustomed to struggle that we forget to rejoice. Former enemies sit down to speak peace and we are too impatient when a world leader speaks to us and pre-empts a football game or a favorite show. A friend calls on the phone and we silently begrudge the time they ask of us because we have too much work to do. And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s love in our lives.

God is a loving God and this we know because even though we ruin the environment with our lack of care, the trees continue to return to foliage each spring cycle, the waters have smaller “dead zones” when they are given the time to rejuvenate, the souls of the faithful departed enjoy eternal communion with God in the New Jerusalem. And still we refuse to be amazed at what had happened when we experience God’s power in our lives.

We can never over-estimate the length and breadth and height and depth of God’s presence in our lives, especially when we contemplate this portion of The Story. So let us today, like Peter, go home at the end of our day . . . let us thank God for all that we are and all that we have . . . let us be amazed at what has happened in our lives . . . and witness to the miracle and the joy of the resurrection which the savior has given as gift to each of us. Amen.


A Favorite from  June 23, 2010.

Image from: http://straight-friendly.blogspot.com/

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Luke 2: Our Story – Part IIchild-is-born-738347

Monday, August 15, 2022

Yesterday we reflected on the introduction of our story that announces to the world who we are in the manner in which we live out our response to God’s call. We may want to catalog the goodness we have offered as building blocks for the kingdom.  Perhaps we want to recount the stories of the obstacles we have overcome, the rejections we have endured, the apologies we have made and accepted.  We may even want to imagine what words will be said about us among those who remain when we depart this life. In some way and at some time, we have imagined how we are viewed by others. We have dreamt our story.

As we read the opening words of the Christ’s story, we see his birth, the visits of shepherds and kings, the circumcision and presentation, the flight to Egypt and return to Nazareth, and the finding of the boy Jesus in the Jerusalem temple. All of this brings us to the time of John the Baptist who announces the arrival of the Savior, and Luke tells this story well – with just enough detail so that we might imagine the joys, turmoil and uncertainty of our own early years for we are all human, and we are all adopted sisters and brothers of Christ.

As our friends and enemies turn the pages of our lives, let us envision the impediments we have overcome and the miracles we have allowed to grow in us. And let us thank our creator, redeemer and comforter who sustain us, save us and speak to us as we envision the story of our lives.

Spending time with these verses today, we imagine the hopes and dreams our parents have for us. We imagine what potential for goodness in the world has been delivered through us. And we imagine what miracles God has worked in us, and will work in others through us. In thanksgiving, let us determine to surrender the impediments and complications of our lives to God, for it is through them, and with God’s help, that we live out the hope of our story. It is through them, and through God’s help, that return God’s goodness and hope to the world.


Adapted from a reflection written on June 21, 2010.

Image from: http://www.credo-music.org/sing-with-joy/

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Deuteronomy 30:11-14 & Luke 24:13-35: An Eternal Promise eucharist-5

Thursday, August 11, 2022

Eucharist: Thanksgiving represented in the gift of bread and wine we receive each time we share in Jesus’ liturgy. As Jesus gives thanks to the creator when he multiplies fish and loaves of barley, so too are we called to give thanks when we share in Christ’s presence in Eucharist.

For this command which I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you. 

From the oldest stories of the Torah to the new life described in the Gospels, God has in mind a plan for our redemption. We are created in God’s image and we are given the freedom to choose a life of truth and light. At times we are able to follow Christ. At other times we betray his goodness and generosity. In his great love, Christ is patiently and repeatedly turning back for his lost sheep. The promise of the Old Covenant and the miracles of the Old and New Testament are continual reminders of this promise.

Were not our hearts burning within us while he spoke to us on the way and opened the scriptures to us? 

In Deuteronomy God asks the faithful to love with a whole heart, whole mind and whole body. In the last words of Luke’s Gospel we hear and see the testimony of the Emmaus disciples that the risen Christ continues to fulfill God’s promise of redemption through his body and blood. The bread in the desert becomes the multiplied fish and loaves . . . and then becomes Christ himself. For this reason we look on these signs and wonders as more than metaphor. Christ rescues us actually and not symbolically. The Spirit resides is us really and not figuratively. God continues to guide and protect us truly and not allegorically. Of this we can be certain. Of this we can be sure. And God’s gift of daily Eucharist is the vehicle of this eternal promise . . . the Old Testament stories from the Torah and Kings are a foreshadowing of the promise incarnate in the Gospel Jesus.


Image from: https://epicpew.com/jesus-is-alive-in-the-eucharist-heres-the-proof/

Eucharist definition from: http://www.united-catholic-church.org/FAITH/catholic/def-euch.htm

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John 6:16-35: Some Left Over – Part VIIIloaves-fish

Monday, August 8, 2022

Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel contains what is called the Bread of Life Discourse in which Jesus amplifies the miracle his followers have just witnessed, the multiplication of loaves and fish. Bracketed by this miracle and discussion of Jesus as eternal bread is a well-known story: Jesus walks across the stormy waters to rescue his friends from their swamped boat, saying, “It is I. Do not be afraid”. Now the disciples have ears that are ready to hear the love story Jesus wants to impart. The miracle of fish and loaves will expand at the last Passover meal Jesus will share with them to encompass the world in the Creator’s enormous embrace of love. The bread and wine that Jesus will part with them will become Christ’s body and blood. The multiplication of loaves, the breaking of bread and the offering of wine will be experienced in a momentary reality that becomes an eternal embrace of love. The miracles they have experienced – and those they will continue to experience – are more than mere metaphor. They are an act of love.

We search for the Living Christ just as the people do in verses 22-24), and when we ask: “When did you get here?”  Jesus tells us: You are looking for me not because you saw signs but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for food that endures for eternal life.

Explore verses 22 through 35 and compare various versions to discover what Jesus’ words mean to us on this day in this time. When and where do we find eternal sustenance? How and why do we seek eternal bread? With whom do we share our own stories of encounters with the resurrected Christ? And what changes can we imagine in our little lives that will lead us to unity in Christ’s eternal life?

Tomorrow, murmuring.


Image from: https://tben.wordpress.com/2015/01/16/7-miracles-in-the-book-of-john-part-7/

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John 20: Glory, Part XI – Emptinessmiracles-happen

Thursday, July 28, 2022

Knowing that through humility, emptiness, and service, our journey leads us more quickly to the kingdom of God we seek.

Today’s lesson on Glory: Mary Magdalene and the other apostles discover an empty tomb and at first believe that Jesus has left them behind. Through many “wonders and signs,” Jesus assures them of his very real presence.

Each Easter we spend time with this chapter of John’s Gospel, reliving the passage Jesus’ followers make from emptiness to fulfillment. It is very like the same passage we make each time we traverse a difficult patch of our lives. We might re-read these verses when we find ourselves in the emptiness of betrayal, denial or abandonment. They hold stories we will want to re-live and re-tell.

mary-magdaleneThe Empty TombMary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning, while it was still dark, and saw the stone removed from the tomb. We might better manage our disappointments, fears and troubles if we remember that fulfillment follows this emptiness.

The Appearance to Mary of MagdalaMary stayed outside the tomb weeping. And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb and saw two angels in white sitting there, one at the head and one at the feet where the body of Jesus had been. And they said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?  We might better experience peace for the hatred we encounter in the world if we leave ourselves open to the visits of angels.

The Appearance to the Disciples On the evening of that first day of the week, when the doors were locked, where the disciples were, in fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst and said to them, “Peace be with you”. We might better discover unity in our divisions if we look for Christ who is always in our midst.

doubtiing thomas

Caravaggio: Doubting Thomas

ThomasThomas was not with them when Jesus came and so he said to the disciples, I will not believe”. Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you”. Thomas said, “My Lord and my God!” We might better understand our role as branch to Jesus’ vine if we accept Jesus’ love with humility.

Signs and WondersNow Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples that are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through this belief you may have life in his name. We might better hold firm in our love of Christ if we humble ourselves before the many signs and wonders we experience in our lives.


We might compare varying versions of John 20 and connect these stories to the hills in valleys in our own lives. Search this blog for reflections from John 20 and re-think the Easter miracle. 

Images from: http://thekingscorneratctk.blogspot.com/2015/04/recognizing-jesus.html and https://theultimatefundraiser.wordpress.com/2015/08/11/make-miracles-happen-with-kapiolani-medical-center-childrens-miracle-network/ and http://womenofchristianity.com/bible-women/mary-magdalene/

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John 13:1-20: Glory, Part I – Washing Our Feet

Monday, July 18, 2022

Dirck Van Baburen: Christ Washing the Apostles' Feet

Dirck Van Baburen: Christ Washing the Apostles’ Feet

Over the next few days we will explore the mystery of Christ’s power found in humility, his love encountered in emptiness, and his leadership seen in his service. John, The Beloved Apostle, faithfully recorded Jesus’ last words and actions for his loyal and frightened followers. John leaves this recording for us that we might discover Christ’s presence among us today, Christ’s glory that lives with us still . . . even after two millennia.

Today’s lesson on Glory: We best find Jesus in the simple rather than the complex, in the overt, loving gesture, and in generous, self-serving love. 

Why do we always forget that Jesus is constantly at our side and that he is constantly washing our feet? Perhaps because he is no longer with us in a physical, three-dimensional form which we perceive with human eyes. Perhaps we must trust our senses more.

What do we do to find our spiritual eyes? Perhaps we better sense Christ in the touch, the word, the gesture of our fellow travelers, and in the presence of the miracles he is constantly performing among us. Perhaps we must listen for the whispered messages he delivers when we are confused and anxious.

What do we do when we long to touch Jesus in a very real way? Perhaps we are looking in the wrong places. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that all of creation cries out as the sustaining presence of Christ and that no matter when we are, God’s loving presence surrounds us.

In today’s Noontime we hear Jesus say to us, his disciples: What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later. These words are so true . . . and we hear them so frequently when we take our problems to that quiet spot within where the voice speaks.

When we find the place where Christ speaks and we consider what we see and hear and touch. We consider that we need not understand the complexities of God’s plan. And so we pray,

Compassionate God, hear our petitions, abide with us, wash our feet, our hearts, our minds. You promised us your peace. Send it to us today and all days as we take in the beauty of your creation, and as we learn to serve others without complaining. We ask this in your name. Amen.

Find time today to write out Jesus’ words on a slip of paper: What I am doing, you do not understand now, but you will understand later. Put this paper in your pocket and take a walk outdoors to drink in God’s message. If the weather is unpleasant, find a window with a wide view that captures at least a small portion of God’s creation for you.  Later today, spend time with the image above – or another image of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet that you prefer – and make plans to take care of yourself in some special way within the next few days, if only for a half hour. And let us remember to let Christ wash our tired and dusty feet every night before we go to bed as he so longs to do, for it is in this way that we begin to experience Christ’s glory.

Tomorrow, finding God’s glory in disappointment. 


Image from: https://shadowlilies.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/christ-washing-peters-feet/

Adapted from a reflection written on June 1, 2007.

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Luke 24: Resurrection Narrative

Carracci: Women at the Tomb of Christ

Hannibale Carracci: Women at the Tomb of Christ

Fourth Sunday of Lent, March 27, 2022

The stories we read in the closing chapter of Luke are ones that bring us through dark nights and heavy days. They bolster our spirits and restore energy. They lend us strength and heal our wounded-ness.

Two men in dazzling garments are waiting in the empty tomb. Can we take ourselves to that moment and that space to imagine this Easter surprise that both heartened and frightened Jesus’ followers? Can we imagine God’s messengers comforting us and bringing good news as we stand in our own empty tombs? We must . . . for this is part of our own resurrection miracle.

Hendrick Terbruggen: Supper at Emmaus

Hendrick Terbruggen: Supper at Emmaus

Two followers of Jesus realize that their hearts were burning within while their dinner guest spoke to them to open scripture and ease their sorrow. Can we put ourselves in a moment when we have just been touched by the resurrected Christ but were too anxious or too angry to look fully in the face that wants to relieve our suffering? Can we relive the healing touch and grace-filled words that flooded the moment when a stranger or friend spoke just the right word at just the right moment? We must . . . for this part of our own resurrection promise.

Peace be with you. Can we recall an experience when we were startled and terrified and thought we were seeing a ghost only to succumb to incredulous joy and amazement at the recognition that God moves in our lives each moment of our existence? Can we recollect the understanding that all is well and that God is in charge? We must . . . for this is our own resurrection narrative.

Velázquez: Kitchen Scene with the Supper in Emmaus

Diego Velázquez: Kitchen Scene with the Supper in Emmaus

This week we remember that we are Theophilus, God’s own friend, and we have dedicated time with scripture to allow God’s Word to enter into our hearts and minds. We journey with the Gospel stories to find clues to our identity as sisters and brothers of Christ. And we open ourselves to a candid examination of what and why we want to change. Luke records Jesus’ resurrection narrative that we read again today. Let us begin to fully believe the miracle and promise of this story. And let us determine to make Jesus’ narrative our own.


Use the scripture link to compare differing versions of Luke 24 as we open our hearts and minds to the Living Word of God Among Us.

 Carracci image from: http://www.artbible.net/3JC/-Mat-28,01_Women_Resurrection_Femmes/2nd_16th_Siecle/slides/16%20CARRACCI%20WOMEN%20AT%20THE%20TOMB%20OF%20CHR.html

Terbruggen image from: http://www.wikiart.org/en/search/supper%20at%20emmaus/1

Veláquez image from: http://www.wikiart.org/en/search/supper%20at%20emmaus/1

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