Faith Brings Forth Miracles

Matthew 13:54-58
Jer 26:1-9 / Ps 69:5,8-10,14

He did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith.
(Mat.13:58)

Success seems like some kind of disease
To people with crab mentality;
The chains of envy and prejudice
Bind them in their mental poverty.

Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?” they asked. “Isn’t this the carpenter’s son? Isn’t his mother’s name Mary, and aren’t his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren’t all his sisters here with us? Where then did this man get all these things?” And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own town and in his own house.” And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith. (Matthew 13:54-58)

Reflection

For a time Jesus had made Capernaum His “base of operations”, its strategic location and prosperity ideal for drawing large crowds to Himself. His reputation as a miracle worker, ie., multiplying bread to feed thousands, changing water into wine, healing the sick, and exorcising evil spirits, etc. had preceded Him. When He paid a brief visit to His hometown of Nazareth, and taught the people in their synagogue, His words of wisdom surprised the people who had known Him since He was a child. “Where did this man get such wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter’s son?” When He saw the cynicism and prejudice of His own townsfolk, Jesus could only shake His head and say, “A prophet is not without honor except in his native place and in his own house.” Their lack of faith prevented Him from working miracles there.

The Holy Spirit cannot work wonders in the lives of those who lack faith in Jesus Christ, or who take a cynical view about matters beyond reason or deduction. But those who are still ‘in the dark’ about their faith but are willing to seek spiritual enlightenment will probably experience their own ‘Damascus encounter’ in formation seminars like the Life in the Spirit Seminars, or the Christian Life Programs.

We were witness once to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the talks, “Praising and Raising of Hands”, and “Vocal Prayers” in one Christian Life Program of our brotherhood. Words of praise and worship just flowed out of the mouths of the speakers spontaneously. Their strong faith in God allowed the Holy Spirit to work on their minds and feelings, which moved the participants to break out of their shells of doubt and inhibition and follow their lead. Those who suspended their doubts in humble acceptance and trust were the ones easily ‘slain’ in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Some who resisted because of pride or prejudice went away empty.

“But my people did not listen to my words; Israel did not obey me. So I gave them over to hardness of heart; they followed their own designs.” (Psalm 81:12-13). Lord, fill my heart always with Your grace of humility and trust, so that it may be receptive in following all Your designs. Amen.

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