Eyes of Faith

We know that Jesus performed many signs, wonders, and miracles of healing throughout his three years of teaching and ministry. We hear in St. Matthew’s Gospel, “Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, went up on the mountain, and sat down there. Great crowds came to him, having with them the lame, the blind, the deformed, the mute, and many others. They placed them at his feet, and he cured them. The crowds were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the deformed made whole, the lame walking, and the blind able to see, and they glorified the God of Israel.” (NAB, 15:29-31) But Jesus didn’t humble himself and become one of us merely to be the greatest physician or miracle worker of all time; Jesus came for our eternal salvation, body and soul.

So, why did Jesus perform so many miracles? Authentic miracles reveal the divine presence and action, precisely because they defy our normal, human reason. Miracles act as external indications associated with the internal assistance and actions of the Holy Spirit regarding the revelation of God himself. Because they are “impossible” according to human reason, miracles open the door of faith, helping us to realize that our knowledge and understanding are limited, and pale in the presence of an infinite God.

Earlier in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus asked those who refused to believe in his power over the spiritual realm: “Which is easier to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk [to a crippled person]?’” (MT 9:5) His point is that anyone can say anything, but to demonstrate that his words are effective in the spiritual world, especially when he forgives sins, Jesus performed signs, wonders, and miracles in the physical world, which were “impossible” according to human reason.

Heavenly Father, give me eyes that see, eyes that see your presence in the ordinary and in the miraculous. Strengthen my faith in your power over this world, so that I may more deeply trust in your power over the world hereafter. Amen.

 

See with Blessed Eyes

Blessed are the eyes that see what you see.” (NAB, LK 10:23) Oftentimes, we think it must have been easier for the original disciples of Jesus to believe in him. After all, they witnessed his healings, heard his teachings directly from him, had a better understanding and comprehension of Hebrew scripture and Jewish life, and saw, first-hand, his many miracles. Yet, we also know that all of the Twelve, except for John, abandoned Jesus throughout his Passion. It was only upon receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, which opened the spiritual eyes of the Apostles, that they became disposed to receive the blessings of what they had witnessed. With their eyes, they saw God at work through Jesus, they saw the promised Messiah who would unite God’s people, and they saw the power of Salvation in love, mercy, and sacrifice.

Jesus is still at work today. Jesus gives Salvation to our lost world, even now. His power is ever present in his love, mercy, and sacrifice that endure for all time. Just as was necessary for the First Disciples, however, we must see with the eyes of faith, a gift that is only possible by God’s grace and through the power of the Holy Spirit. But when we recalibrate our vision to be not limited by the world, but rather, enlightened by the light of Christ, we are then capable of seeing Jesus present in each other and in all of creation. It is then, when we see the manifestation of God around us, that our eyes will be truly blessed by what we see.

Holy Spirit, come! Give me the wisdom I need to see with the eyes of faith, that I may witness Christ’s real presence in the world, that my eyes may be blessed to see the reality of Jesus in my loved ones, in the needy and hurting, in the marginalized and neglected, and in those who persecute you. May my eyes see your glory as I witness your love and mercy at work in the world. Amen.

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