Tuesday of the Fifteenth Week in Ordinary Time

In today’s Gospel, Jesus expresses the hurt and severe disappointment that those towns closest to where he grew up in Nazareth have largely not repented and so have not chosen to follow him.  In an earlier chapter in Matthew, we hear that “Jesus went around to all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and illness.”  It is in these towns closest to his hometown that most of his miracles were performed.  It is in these towns that he has spent most of his ministry to this point.  His pain reflects the real human emotions that he experienced in his real human nature.  He came first to them, and they largely rejected or ignored him.

Christianity started within the Jewish community.  But it expanded to the whole world.  In this world and over many centuries, we have continued to see many miracles.  There have been miracles of healing in which someone is cured of a condition or illness and in which that cure cannot be otherwise explained.  Every new saint has miracles attributed to their intercession.  Many Eucharistic miracles have been documented over the centuries. 

Every day at every Mass, a miracle occurs.  The simple unleavened bread and wine that we offer is transformed substantially into the Body and Blood of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  They truly become Jesus.  While they still retain the sensory characteristics of bread and wine, they are now substantially different.  What are we willing to do to witness this miracle in person?

In addition to the miracles, Jesus has given us the gifts of sacraments – the outward signs that he instituted to give us grace.  The effects pf the grace that we receive is proportional to our receptivity to that grace.  We must be open.  We must be in a state of grace, free from unforgiven mortal sin. 

These gifts are so valuable to success in our journey in this life.  We cannot earn our own salvation by our own efforts.  We depend on God’s grace.  And, what a gift that these sacraments of grace are to us!  What a treasure is Christ’s Church where we find these sacraments!

Do we appreciate the mighty deeds done in our midst?  Do we treasure the daily miracle that happens in the Eucharist at Mass?  Do we value the other gifts given by Christ through the Church?  How are we carrying the miraculous message of Christianity to others?