The Catholic Defender: Be the Miracle, have your Oil Full, Be Ready
Jesus told his disciples this parable:
"The Kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones, when taking their lamps, brought no oil with them, but the wise brought flasks of oil with their lamps. Since the bridegroom was long delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep. At midnight, there was a cry, 'Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!' Then all those virgins got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' But the wise ones replied, 'No, for there may not be enough for us and you.
Go instead to the merchants and buy some for yourselves.' While they went off to buy it, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went into the wedding feast with him. Then the door was locked. Afterwards the other virgins came and said, 'Lord, Lord, open the door for us!' But he said in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, I do not know you.' Therefore, stay awake, for you know neither the day nor the hour."
Acts 2:17-21 states, “It will come to pass in the last days, God says, that I will pour out a portion of my spirit upon all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. Indeed, upon my servants and my handmaids I will pour out a portion of my spirit in those days, and they shall prophesy. And I will work wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below…”
Think about what Our Lord is saying here through the prophet Joel (Chapter 3) and St. Luke! Obviously this is great news.
First things first, “It will come to pass…” when your going through tough times it is great to know that things will pass and can get better. This is offering us hope! Proverbs 24:14 states, “Such, you must know, is wisdom to your soul. If you find it, you will have a future, and your hope will not be cut off.”
Our hope is in the Lord for Romans 12:12 states, “Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.” “It will come to pass in the last days, God says, that I will pour out portion of my spirit upon all flesh.” That is good news, we are not orphaned.
“Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy…” This is promised for the Church. God will use His servants to proclaim God’s word proclaiming liberty to the captives setting them free. “Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deluding yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his own face in a mirror. He sees himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. But the one who peers into the perfect law of freedom and perseveres, and is not a hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, such a one shall be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25
The Lord is calling each and everyone of us to utilize His Spirit as He wills for us to accomplish.
Be the miracle that God brings to those who are captives. See God’s work in the natural as well as the supernatural happenings around you. When a teenager turns from drugs and accepts Confirmation, that is a miracle. When a woman decides to have her child for the love of her child, that is a miracle. When you give aid to the poor, God can work all kinds of wonders in the lives of those forsaken by society.
“Your young men shall see visions…” we are known principally by three major ways.First, we are known by what we say. People will take what you say and watch you. Jesus warns, “A good person brings forth good out of a store of goodness, but an evil person brings forth evil out of a store of evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will render an account for every careless words they speak. By your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:35-37
Not only are you being watched by your peers and acquaintances, but the Lord is very much involved and holding you accountable. So, you are known for what you say. Secondly, then you are also known for what you do. How does your actions follow along with your words? James 2:26 states, “For as a body without a spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.” Faith can move mountains, however, “He who is slack in his work is a brother to him who destroys.” Proverbs 18:9
Be the miracle that allows the Lord to work in your life. Proclaim good news to those around you by your praise of others and the good that you do. There is a third major thing that people will observe in you. Not only are you known for what you say and what you do, but your also known for the things you love. What is most evident in your life?
Be the miracle! When others around you show indifference, be committed, be faithful going to Mass each and every Sunday and holy day. Go during the week when you can. That is a great miracle of blessing.
Your faithfulness speaks louder than words.
Finally, Jesus told the Scribe,“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” Then Jesus says, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mark 12:30-31
St. Paul says something than many of us can identify, most certainly yours truly, “Not that I say this because of need, for I have learned, in whatever situation I find myself, to be self-sufficient. I know indeed how to live in humble circumstances; I know also how to live with abundance. In every circumstance and in all things I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of living in abundance and of being in need. I have the strength for everything through him who empowers me.” Philippians 4:11-13
St. Luke is promising that you will be empowered (like St. Paul) by God with His Spirit giving us signs and wonders to encourage us and strengthen us.
Be the miracle that others might see the goodness of God in your life so that they will also come to desire the things of God. If you have not been practicing your Catholic Faith, if you have been sitting on the fence or even placing yourself in another pasture, please take another deeper look at Jesus and Mary and come home to the Faith that the Saints have given testimony throughout the ages.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life”. John 3:16
Be the miracle, live out the Sacraments in your life, center yourself on Jesus and renew the Covenant with Him (Eucharist) to maintain your strength, and He will renew your strength.
O Lord, hear my cry pouring out from a troubled heart. The sorrow which clutches at my soul has driven me to You my protector, my True Friend in time of need. You know, my God, all my failings, my faults and my sins as well as the torment gripping my soul. My greatest sorrow should be for my disregard of Your holy commandments in the past, and I sincerely hope that you will grant me the grace of true contrition. O my Savior, hide not Your Face from me in this tribulation, let the light of Your Countenance shine upon me that I may be illuminated by Its love. If it be Your will, lighten this burden from me, yet should it be a means of my salvation, help me, help me O Lord, to carry this cross, for alone I can do nothing. Radiate Your love upon Your prodigal child O Lord, this beggar who knocks at Your door seeking shelter in Your Sacred Heart; this once proud earthen vessel made of clay seeks You, O Christ, and in a newly found faith, firmly believes that you will receive him in Your limitless Love and Mercy. Amen