By: The Right Reverend Father Michael D. Jordan
Weíve all heard the expression; "itís the little things that count!" That is certainly true in some cases; but what about the extremely miraculous things that are thought of as little things? Take for instance the Scripture passage from Matthew Chapter 18, verses 24 through 27:
"And when they had entered Capernaum, they that received tribute money came to Peter, and asked, Does not your Master pay tribute? He replied, yes. And when he entered the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What do you think, Simon? Of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? Of their own children, or of strangers? Peter said to him, of strangers. Jesus said to him, then the children are free. Notwithstanding, lest we should offend them, go thou to the sea, and cast a hook, and take the fish that first comes up, and when you have opened his mouth, you shall find a piece of money: that take and give unto them for me and thee."
Most people would read right through this passage and never give it a second thought. Imagine for a moment, just how many fish there are in the sea. Now imagine the odds that the first fish you catch from the sea having the exact amount of tribute money you needed in its mouth? The possibility of catching a fish with any type of money in its mouth is quite remote, let alone having the proper currency you needed to pay your taxes.
For Jesus Christ to have known what to tell Peter, He had to have power and control over nature that only God could have. It was one of the Bibleís most subtle ways of proving the divinity of Jesus Christ. Many times, Jesus defied conventional laws of physics by walking on water, a task that no earthly man has been able to accomplish even to this day. Not only did Jesus walk on water; He even made it possible for Peter to walk on the water for a brief time.
Jesus took five loaves of bread and two small fish and fed thousands of people with them, and the leftovers filled 12 baskets. How much food do you estimate it would take to feed four or five thousand people? Iím sure it would be a lot more than just five loaves of bread and two fish. If you have ever entertained a group of people, you will know this fact very well. This miracle of feeding five thousand people reminds us of the Holy Eucharist that is forever eaten; yet never consumed. God feeds His people, both physically and spiritually.
We read in the Scriptures that Jesus rebuked the wind and it immediately calmed when He and His Disciples were being tossed about in a ship on the sea. The Disciples were astonished that He could simply rebuke the wind and it submitted completely to His will.
Truly these events from Scripture prove that Jesus was God incarnate, and that as God, He has the power to control nature, and nature in return respects the Creator and complies with Him. Remember the fig tree that Jesus Christ happened upon when He was hungry, and it had no figs. He rebuked the fig tree and it withered away immediately. How many of us could rebuke a fig tree and have it wither away immediately? As God, He was letting His people know what will happen to lazy, unfaithful servants that do not bear spiritual fruit.
These seemingly insignificant events when witnessed in person had a powerful effect on His Disciples, thatís why they are included in the Scripture. They are like nuggets of gold, that when found by the reader, reinforce the fact that Jesus Christ was indeed God incarnate.
The first public miracle recorded in the New Testament was at a wedding in Cana, where the Theotokos (The Virgin Mary), asked Jesus to change water into wine for the wedding guests.
Jesus Christ was so human, and yet so Divine. He was willing to display His human qualities for all to see, while giving mankind a glimpse of His Divine nature by performing miracles, both large and small for all to see.
Jesus Christ did not take on flesh to condemn the human condition, He took on flesh to bless and affirm the human condition. Humanity was forever blessed because the Creator was born in human form. He shared with us the physical characteristics that make us unique. He restored us from the fall of Adam and Eve, from subjection to the evils of Satan.
As human beings, we are created in the image and likeness of God, and as reason endowed beings, we are charged to become masters of our own destiny. Jesus Christ still performs silent, but significant, miracles in our lives daily. Most of us are quite unaware of them until others point them out.
One of the greatest, relatively unknown miracles is the preservation of the Reserved Sacrament in the Church Tabernacle. On Holy Thursday of each year, the priest will consecrate a new host to be placed in the Tabernacle. This host remains in the Tabernacle, providing the presence of the Body and Blood of Christ at all times in the Church. This Reserved Sacrament is always maintained without the slightest signs of corruption throughout the year.
Insects will not bother the Reserved Sacrament, nor does it mold during the year, but remains in a condition suitable for the priest to use for Holy Communion for the sick, and ultimately for the priest to consume a year later on next Holy Thursday.
Next time when you study the Scriptures be on the lookout for miracles that you might have overlooked in previous readings. The New Testament is overflowing with miraculous events; some may seem insignificant until you really give them some thought. I ask all of you now to read through the New Testament in search of the forgotten miracles. List them, and share them with others. Boost the faith in Jesus Christ of your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ by continually pointing them to God.
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