Father Richard M. Gula, SS, has been involved with ministerial formation and seminary education for many years, and is a popular lecturer and workshop presenter for pastoral ministers.
“Expect a miracle” read the bumper sticker on the car in front of me as I made my way through the tollbooth at the Golden Gate Bridge. I wondered, “Would the owner of that car even recognize a miracle if it fell on his lap?” I reached out with my toll, ready for the toll-taker to take it. “Go on through,” she said, “the driver in front of you paid your fare.” Miracles happen to those who have eyes to see.
In today’s Gospel the disciples are still coming to faith. They cannot see the Giver of life in and through the five loaves that fed five thousand or the seven that fed four thousand. For them, bread is bread, nothing more. In his exasperation Jesus says, in effect, “Cannot bread be more than it seems? You have eyes. Can’t you look into the moments of grace and see the hand of God?”
The greatest obstacle to faith is a flat imagination., believing that what you see is what you get and nothing more. Seeing in one dimension is not seeing in the eyes of faith. God’s activity is not one more instance alongside others. God’s action is in the depths of whatever fills our day. Every moment, if given a chance, can speak to us of God. We live in an enchanted world where grace is everywhere.
When we see every event of our lives against the divine horizon of a world drenched with grace, we can expect a miracle.