In today’s gospel Jesus works a great miracle. He gives sight to a man born blind. Yet when we read this story, it seems that the actual miracle only makes up a small part of the story and then the rest of the gospel focuses on a sort of trial that ensues to determine exactly what happened. It would be easy to get frustrated and yell at the Pharisees, “Why can’t you just accept that a miracle occurred and be thankful?” However, people might be surprised to learn that the Catholic Church is actually very skeptical in proclaiming something to be a “miracle.” We would likely do exactly what the Pharisees did.
Today’s homily looks at two miracles in addition to the one on the gospel. One was the miracle that eventually led to the canonization of Mother Theresa. The other happened just last year to a mom in Arizona. In both cases, there was a great deal of healthy skepticism and testing before accepting that there was no earthly explanation for these miraculous events.
While all of these miracles are potentially helpful for our faith, no miracle is enough to actually give us faith. No amount of evidence will be enough to make us believe. We still have a choice. When the man in the gospel who is given sight encounters Jesus, he is asked if he “believes.” St. John tells us he responded, “I do believe, Lord” and then “he worshiped him.”
We are confronted with evidence of God’s presence every day. Yet many people see this same evidence and do not come to faith. There is a mystery in the moment between seeing all the evidence and being able to proclaim that we believe and worship. So let’s be thankful today for the mysterious gift of our faith. Let’s also not miss the miracles that happen around us every day, especially the miracle of the Eucharist.