16 Comments

  1. First off, thank you so much for writing a post for me, dear! I really wasn’t feeling well, and having my post done took that weight off my shoulders! 🙂

    I love that you talk about miracles in this reflection. In the reading alone we can see two very different kinds of miracles. The miracle of the angel Gabriel appearing to Zechariah is rather large. How many people expect to see an angel appear before them in their day to day lives?! The second miracle, that of Elizabeth conceiving a child, is fairly small in comparison. Sure, Elizabeth was old and barren, but a woman conceiving–even under such conditions–is hardly what we would call a “flamboyant” miracle. It’s more the quiet type, slow and gentle and filled with joy. Interestingly enough, it is the “quiet miracle” that ultimately brings the most change and happiness into their lives. I feel like that happens so often. Big miracles shock and awe, but once those emotions wear off, we tend to carry on much the way we did before. Little ones, on the other hand, have the power to change our lives.

    • Brian Rebar

      That closing statement was awesome! “Big miracles shock and awe, but once those emotions wear off, we tend to carry on much the way we did before. Little ones, on the other hand, have the power to change our lives.” That’s the best and very true. I think another comparison that can be made-one that clicks more for me I think-is that the “big miracles” are the ones that blow your mind but the “quiet miracles” are the ones that touch your heart. The former giving a momentary effect and the latter being longer lasting.

  2. Dave

    I was just on this same train of thought!

    My definition of miracles (and this may stray from the dictionary a bit) applies to every action of God meant to strengthen our faith. Thus, we get Eucharistic Miracles, the parting of the Red Sea, and the healing of a blind man. Through visible shows of supernatural grace and impossible coincidences, a heart can be tugged toward God for the first time.
    As much as we read about these types of miracles, we hardly ever see supernatural interventions from God in our own lives. For those who already have faith, miracles can be found in smaller ways. A person in need crossing our paths is an example. Any recognition of the love coming from another, or of the love within ourselves, can remind us of the love God gives us. Love is visible in all of God’s created gifts, including our fellow human beings. Faith can be strengthened by recognizing the gratitude we owe God for all of these things. And when our faith is strong enough, we are ready to see God work the impossible. With just about any story of healing I can remember from the Gospels, the one asking for a miracle already believes it can happen. Jesus tells them, “Your faith has saved you.” In this Gospel, Zechariah is not prepared to see God work the impossible. A miracle is performed for him, even though he does not believe it is possible. When things like this happen, an appropriate response is gratitude.

    Nice post, Brian. I think I’m going to go look back over the day and find the things I’m grateful for.

    • Brian Rebar

      Thank sir! I know everyone knows they should pray and everyone always mentions it but I am outrageously shocked every time that I get back into a solid prayer routine. Without fail, God is tangibly visible in most aspects of my life. It’s like all the smudge are wiped off my lenses and God’s presence is made clear. I really want to be able to see God in everything everyday again; it’s such a wonderful thing. I miss it. I feel so much more excited to live out my mission as a Christian when I have encounters with God multiple times a day.

    • I really like your definition, Dave. “Every action of God meant to strengthen our faith.” That’s really good!

      I remember that Brian used to say that he thought that Saints performed miracles when their will was perfectly aligned with God’s. I don’t remember exactly how he explained it. Maybe he’ll weigh in here.

      • Brian Rebar

        You pretty much said it. I just always figured that God worked the “flamboyant miracles” through holy people like the Saints who had themselves “perfectly aligned” with the Divine will because then they are a more perfect vessel through which He could act in form of miracles like that. Also, I think Him choosing people like the Saints furthers the witness of those who follow Him will be rewarded. I guess it’s all just centered around, the more we open ourselves up to God, the more He can use us. The more open we are, the more frequently, and in “bigger” ways I guess, whatever bigger may mean (raising from the dead…ect.)

        • That makes sense. Like I said, I remembered you making this comment before, and I remembered liking the way you explained your thoughts, I just didn’t remember exactly what you said. So thanks! 🙂

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