pondělí 9. dubna 2018

The Greatest Miracle (2018)

The Greatest Miracle (2018)
Fr. Martin Fuchs´s sermon on 8th April 2018, Prague, Czechia
Lower Sunday
Dear faithful!
The oldest and biggest feast in Church is Easter, the feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord. Jesus Christ has given us the greatest proof of His Divinity. Many of His miracles were also performed by prophets and saints but not their own resurrection. Let us consider some of these miracles:
Christ had multiplied bread and fish in the desert (Jn 6:1). Something similar did Elias and Elisha. Elias multiplied flour and oil of the widow of Sarepta (3 Kg. 17:8-16) and Eliseus did the same with oil of a woman (4 Kg. 4:1-7). Also in the life of st. John Bosco, in the life of John Vianney, and st. Paul of the Cross we find bred and grain multiplication.
Christ healed lepers (Mt 8:1-4); the same did Eliseus with Naaman (4 Kg. 5:1-15).
Christ brought the dead to life, His friend Lazarus, the young man of Naim and the daughter of Jairus (Jn 11:44, Lk 7:11, 8:55). Elias did the same (2 Kg. 4:25-38). The Roman martyrology tells us that saint Martin brought three dead back to life. The resurrected who had been raised by Jesus Christ, all died later. Even Enoch and Elijah, who were raptured without dying, will return before the Last Judgment and then die as martyrs.
Christ could look into hearts (Jn 4:17). Saint John Vianney, called Parish Priest of Ars, Crescentia of Kaufbeuren, and also Father Pio could look into hearts of people.
Christ could walk across the waves (Jn 6:16-21). And on the feast of saint Raymond of Penyafort Church prays: “O God, who didst choose blessed Raymond to be an eminent minister of the sacrament of penance, and didst miraculously bring him over the waves of the sea, grant that by his intercession we may be enabled to bring forth worthy fruits of penitence and to reach the harbour of eternal salvation: through Our Lord...“ (23rd  January)
Christ could predict the future, the denial of Peter (Mt 26:35), the betrayal of Judas (Mt 26:21). The same thing was done by prophets and saints; e.g. Moses announced punishment to the Pharaoh; Elias foretold drought and rain, and st. Philipp Neri knew the names of the future Popes even before their election.
Christ could liberate people from the devil (Mt 9:32, Mk 1:21). The same did saint Benedict, blessed Bonaventura from Barcelona or Nicholas Wolff from Rippertschwand, Switzerland.
Christ lived together with wild animals (Mk 1:13). Daniel was casted into the den of lions, but he was not hurt by them (Daniel 6:16).
Saint Jerome lived with a lion and also in the biography of saint Gerasimus we can read: “At that time, the saint walked up and down the banks of the Jordan in contemplation of divine mysteries. Suddenly a lion came to meet him. He limped on three feet and roared very pitifully. The animal had a sharp thorn in his foot. His foot swelled and much pus accumulated on the injured part, it caused great pain to the lion. When the saint abbot was near the lion, the animal raised his foot as if to show it to the saint and ask him for help. The saint abbot sat down, took the lion´s foot in his hand, pulled out the thorn with all caution, pressed the pus out of the wound, and cleaned it as well as he could. He wrapped his foot with cloth and told the lion to go on in the name of God. But the lion did not want to leave his benefactor but followed him wherever he went, like a dog.
If some saints were able to say the content and to interpret dreams of others as Joseph and Daniel in the Old Testament or received instructions by dreams as saint Joseph and the wise men from the East in the New Testament, and we do not read about the Savior to have such gifts, it is because he does not need tem. As the Son of Man he was permanent in the contemplation of God. He knew everything, secrets, mysteries, hidden things.
If he had asked questions, it was not because he did not know anything, but due to rhetorical reasons, as a teacher asks in school. So he asked: “How many loaves have you?“ (Mk 6:38); “Where have you laid him (Lazarus)?“ (Jn 11:35).
The Saviour, however, performed some miracles expressly to prove His Divinity, which is not the case of prophets in the Old Testament and of saints in the New Testament.
They proved their mission by performing miracles and they did them in God’s name.
Jesus Christ forgave sins and affirmed this power with a miracle: “And behold they brought to him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee. And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth. And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts? Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee: or to say, arise, and walk? But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then said he to the man sick of palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. And he arose, and went into his house.“ (Mt 9:2-7)
At the resurrection of Lazarus Jesus lifting up his eyes said: “Father, I give thee thanks that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always; but because of the people who stand about have I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.“ (Jn 11:42)
Jesus Christ also worked miracles in His name. He commanded the winds, and the sea, and there came a great calm; (Mt 8:26) while the apostles worked miracles in the name of Jesus: “Lord, Lord, have not we prophesied in thy name, and cast out devils in thy name, and done many miracles in thy name?“ (Mt 7:22)
But the miracle that surpassed all other miracles was the miracle of Resurrection. He had announced it for several times and confirmed it in the following period by numerous apparitions until His Ascension.
“From that time Jesus began to shew to his disciples, that he must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the ancients and scribes and chief priests, and be put to death, and the third day rise again.“ (Mt 16:21; 17:22; 20:17)
Jesus overcame sin, death and the devil by His Resurrection. We have every reason to be happy, we can be sure to be redeemed by the Son of Man. Amen.