GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY – 20TH APRIL 2017
GOD’S WORD FOR THE DAY (based on Catholic Liturgical Readings)
DATE: 20TH APRIL 2017
FIRST READING: Acts 3:11-26
PSALM: Psalm 8: 2, 5-9
GOSPEL: Luke 24:35-48
THEME: MIRACLES DO HAPPEN
In the field of academia, there are some theologians who argue that what the Church needs today is sound theology and not miracles. They are of the view that the 21st century is a scientific world and since miracles appear to ‘ridicule’ science, the Christian faith stands the risk of being labelled ‘ridiculous’ if premium is placed on miracles.
In seeking to respond to the above school of thought, we may need to revisit the core essence of theology. If theology is “faith seeking understanding”, then there must first be faith-related actions that offer themselves for the mind to seek understanding. For C.S. Lewis, “a miracle is when God does something that wouldn’t happen if he didn’t do it.” Hence to negate miracles in the 21st century is to negate the actions of God in this moment of human history. Such a move would rather render theology unsound and irrelevant for the modern mind.
The context of today’s First Reading is the miracle of the healing of the cripple. Peter explained how the miracle took place in these words: “It is the name of Jesus which, through faith in him, has brought back the strength of this man whom you see here and who is well known to you. It is faith in him that has restored this man to health, as you can all see” (Acts 3:16). The consequence of the miracle, according to the narrator, was that “everyone came running towards them in great excitement, to the Portico of Solomon, as it is called, where the man was still clinging to Peter and John. When Peter saw the people he addressed them…” (Acts 3:11-12). Here, we see the purpose of a miracle — it is not for money-making, popularity or empty show; a miracle simply offers a platform for witnessing, namely to lead people to faith in Christ.
It is true that some charlatans, masquerading as miracle workers have done great damage to the value of miracles in Christian theology and have made some good Christians to doubt the veracity of miracles or at least be suspicious of anything that goes by that name. There are instances when people embark on miracle-shopping and make miracles look like commodities on the market for sale at a very high price. In pursuit of miracles, some have been misled to do ‘crazy’ things and have been deceived to renounce the very thing that creates an atmosphere for miracles – FAITH.
However, counterfeit miracles should not make us despise genuine ones. The resurrection of Christ is in itself a miracle. The risen Christ is still carrying out miracles in our generation and thereby advancing the propagation of the Gospel.
Yes, where there is faith, miracles do happen. To have faith is to enter into a deep and conscious relationship with a living person called Jesus. When you are in such a relationship, you do not need to pursue miracles; miracles would pursue you and they would happen on daily basis and not just once in a lifetime.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, all that you ask of me today is to trust and obey you. As you journey with me today, may signs and wonders be my companion. Amen
Andrews Obeng, svd
DIVINE WORD MISSIONARIES
BIBLICAL PASTORAL MINISTRY
“May the darkness of sin and the night of unbelief vanish before the light of the Word and the Spirit of grace. And may the heart of Jesus live in the hearts of all people” (St. Arnold Janssen)