Thirteenth Sunday Year B

The pages of the NT are filled with the miracles of Christ. Even a cursory reading of the Gospels show how frequently they appear in our Lord’s public ministry. So much so that the evangelists don’t bother to record them individually. Instead they lump them together in neat little summaries saying: he cured the sick, he couldn’t go openly into the towns because he was crowded by those bring the sick for him to cure or they laid the sick on the ground hoping that even his shadow would fall upon them.

Miracles were part and parcel of our Lord’s daily ministry: for him they were not extraordinary events but ordinary and frequent occurrences.

Yet that said his most outstanding miracles the of raising the dead are rare. The NT only records a handful: the raising of Lazarus, the widow of Nain’s son, the Centurion’s servant and the raising of this child we have in today’s Gospel.

These miracles of raising the dead show the awesome power of God present in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. They leave us in no doubt that in him God walked upon this earth.

But these miracles are not about a display of power, they are not there to convince us of God’s existence. Rather they are encounters with faith. Faith is always a necessary part of the deal.

Look at how Jirus goes in search of Jesus pleading with him, filled with faith to save his daughter! Even when they are told the child is dead still they, trust in Jesus the Lord.

And what Jesus bring to each and every situation he encounters is the love and compassion of God. Look at the gentleness of Christ who taking the child by the hand says … little girl get up.

The miracle is not that he raises the dead but that in all and every situation he encounters he brings the love and compassion of God into peoples’ lives. He brings God’s mercy.

The mistake we make is to think that the miracles of Christ are always the big things: the raising of the dead or the cure of the sick, the calming of the storm or the water into wine. These are important signs of course but they are no more miraculous then the compassion and forgiveness he bring to sinners, the teaching he gives to the crowd or the challenge he lays before the religious authority.

In every encounter Jesus bring the compassion and mercy of God and that is the real and true miracle, that in the person of Christ we always find the love and mercy of God. The compassion and love of God has the power to transform and renew our lives. But we need faith. Faith in the transforming power of God’s love to change and renew our lives.

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