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“Jesus Raises the Son of the Widow of Nain” – Mathias Gerung, 1500-1570

(A reflection on Lk 7:11-17)

In Tuesday’s Gospel, Jesus performed a miracle and raised the son of a woman from the dead.  He showed compassion and mercy for the woman, a widow, who, without a son to care for her, would be left destitute and begging for sustenance.  Many people witnessed the miracle and were struck with fear, and they glorified God for what they saw.  They couldn’t contain their amazement and so spread the word across all Judea and the surrounding regions.

God works miracles of different degrees in all our lives.  They usually aren’t as profound as bringing someone back to life after they have died and are already in their coffin, but miracles nonetheless. We may recognize miracles when our prayers are answered, or when we receive some special grace or blessing which we feel we have not earned and don’t deserve.  The birth of a child is certainly a miracle.  Our guardian angel performs a miracle when we are saved from  a near death experience.  In smaller ways, we can consider the geometry and symmetry of a perfectly formed flower, or the beauty and iridescence of a hummingbird’s plumage when seen in a sunbeam, as miracles given to us by God.

Sadly, it seems, many miracles go unnoticed.  They aren’t recognized as miracles because they’re considered too commonplace, or they’re written off to science, or to simple good luck.  But, mostly, miracles aren’t recognized because people don’t look for them.  They aren’t open to receiving them.  They’re too caught up in the thick of thinner things to see God working in their lives.

Last week I posted in Is Your Faith Contagious? a reflection from my daily meditation wherein I asked myself whether I actively make the effort to reach out to bring people to Jesus for healing of their spiritual and emotional brokenness.  Today’s reflection is similar yet different.  Today, I was struck by how often I do see God working in my life, how I receive unexpected graces which sometimes I don’t feel I deserve, and how, like those who witnessed Jesus’ miracle, I absolutely need to bring Jesus to others by telling of the miracles (large or small) I experience in my life.

My wife and I marvel over and share with each other the beauty of the flowers in our garden, and the hummingbirds which frequent those flowers.

Each month I relate to my spiritual director, and the men with whom I am a spiritual mentor, how I’ve felt the Holy Spirit working in my heart.  And, I meet with two or three small groups of men for the explicit purpose of sharing our God-moments and encouraging each other to keep our hearts and minds open to receiving them.

The main purpose of this blog is to share inspirations and close moments with thousands of people around the world in hopes that they, too, will learn to see the presence and goodness of God in their lives.

I participate on a parish ministry team with other men in leading retreats where we give witness to the many ways in which various aspects of our lives have been touched by the Holy Spirit.  

Unlike the people who witnessed this miracle in the Gospel, we may have to heighten our awareness and pay closer attention to the smaller miracles God works in our lives.  But, just like them, we are all called to glorify God and spread the news of His good works to others.  When we do, we find that miracles beget other miracles as men and women are spiritually “raised from the dead” and given new life when they see how God has truly blessed them.

How have you seen God working miracles in your life recently, and how have you witnessed to others so that their spiritual lives might be resurrected from the dead?

“Dear Jesus, thank You for the grace to recognize Your presence in my life, especially in all the miracles that confirm Your love for me.  Thank You for the desire to share Your love with those who need to know both You and Your love for them more deeply.  Lord, I resolve today to sow the seeds of this reflection by reaching out to friends and ask them to share how they have seen God working in their lives recently.  Amen.”

(Recognizing Miracles:  How You Can Resurrect the Dead was first published on the blog Reflections of a Lay Catholic)

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