A Note from Fr. Vince
A miracle defined by the dictionary: a supernatural event outside the realm of what happens naturally.
How many here think the feeding of the 5 thousand is a miracle?
Wait…wait…wait…you’ve got choices
- it is a miracle by definition
- it didn’t exactly happen like that… it’s a spiritual story to make a point
- a miracle doesn’t have to be supernatural to be real
I’m not much for supernatural miracles…I’m a great believer in mystery…and things happening beyond my personal capabilities.
I think that God has infused in the universe…in our world…in our person…all that is needed for life….he is not holding stuff back to dole out to one person, but not another. And that includes a lot more power that we think we have. The ‘natural’ power we have is just being scratched on the surface.
Now my position is one that would get a lot of debate and disagreement…over the meaning of miracles…and what happens in today’s Gospel (8/2/2020).
And that would be worthwhile if I was going there.
I’d rather go down the list.
Number 2: it didn’t exactly happen like that…it’s a spiritual story to make a point.
We know that the last part is true…a story to make a spiritual point…
This conversation would be fun too…and worthwhile if I was going there.
I’d rather head down the list.
Number 3: it doesn’t have to be supernatural to be real
Let’s talk about this one.
Are there only 2 choices? ...natural and supernatural…..as if they are opposite or distinct.
As Christians… aren’t they kind of meshed together?…especially in Jesus Christ
The natural isn’t as small as it used to be.
150 years ago and beyond…your voice carried as far as you could shout and the speed of sound would take you.
When Alexander Graham Bell called and Watson answered 10 miles away… that shout was longer than ever before.
Now you pick up a cell phone on top of Mt. Everest and talk to someone baking in Death Valley 12,000 miles away and it is faster than if you shouted it from 100 feet.
Is that not a miracle?
No you say, it is just technology not yet discovered.
But it is natural….not supernatural.
Only birds can fly.
Except now we get thousands of ton birds…planes to fly simply because the air flows 20% faster under the wing than over it….that’ it…that’s not a miracle.
That’s technology…not natural human feats.
For instance…people can’t fly by themselves….
Oh no!!! did you see the space walk on the space shuttle?
They looked like they were flying to me.
So back to my point!!!!!!!
We are just beginning to scratch the surface of human capability and potential in a God---infused world…where everything touches the presence and power of God… and where natural and supernatural don’t mean as much…they blend together…
And the world brings forth people who can touch into that power before their time…
Or better said….can experience what most of us have yet to experience.
Mohammed, Buddha, Moses, Mother Theresa, and the central figure: Jesus of Nazareth.
What is it about them that command such power…?
That attracts such a following…that they seem beyond human.
You say…for Christians…those others are human…except for Jesus who is divine….
But for us as Christians, the main point of Jesus is not his divinity….it is his
God is already divine…God has nothing to prove as divine…
It is the human experience of God that God wants us to experience.
And that experience is what?
Jesus’ experience is that God and we are one.
The old divisions of natural and supernatural no longer apply. They are blended
The human potential is limitless.
Back to the point:
Was the feeding of the 5 thousand a miracle?
The only thing I know for sure is that no one went home hungry…
Could not Jesus tap into the potential of human power that God has given to the
The danger of calling it supernatural is because that makes it beyond your reach and your doing! It’s a miracle, I can’t do that. Therefore, I don’t need to try.
But the call of Jesus is….what he can do…you are called to do.
And you have.
Jesus fed a total of over 10,000 men, woman, and children that day.
Last spring, when I was still pastor of St. Boniface in Waukee they donated and paid for seed and fertilizer for our adopted village of El Recreo, El Salvador….people that only 200 of us have ever met or will meet.That grain will feed the 600 villagers for one year…a total of 290,000 meals.
It sounds like a miracle to me.!!!!!!