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The Catholic Defender: Christ the Miracle Worker in the Eucharist

Help from Deepertruth friend Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J., S.T.D.

During His visible stay on earth Christ performed countless miracles. He restored sight to the blind, hearing to the deaf and the use of their limbs to the paralyzed. The winds and sea obeyed Him. He told the dead Lazarus to come forth, and Lazarus came out of the grave. The crowning miracle of Christ's visible stay on earth was to raise Himself by His own divine power on Easter Sunday.

But Christ continues performing miracles in our day. I know of no single statement I can share with you that is more practically important than to be convinced that Christ works and wants to perform miracles in our favor today. And that we can add, for the best of reasons, because Jesus Christ is still on earth. And He promised, "Behold, I am with you all days even to the end of the world."

As we examine the Gospel narratives we find two remarkable facts. First, Jesus regularly associated His teaching with working with what John calls "signs and wonders". These signs and wonders made His humanly incomprehensible teaching believable. Miracles are necessary to make God's revelation credible. Please do not forget that. That statement is an article of the Catholic Faith.

Secondly - Christ during His visible stay on earth worked these miracles of course as God, but always through His humanity. In other words, the miracles performed by Jesus in Palestine were always the result of human words spoken, or the result of the touch of Christ's human hands. On one dramatic occasion a women was suddenly healed of years of hemorrhaging the moment she tugged on Christ's garments.

Jesus therefore performed (past tense) astounding wonders related in the Gospels. Always by His divine omnipotence but, (watch the preposition) but through His human nature as man. We are also told that on occasion that Jesus could not (this is the Almighty) perform miracles in certain places. Why not? Because of the people's lack of faith. The two words humanity and faith are crucial to an understanding to the working of miracles.

At this point we turn to the Real Presence and we ask ourselves. "What is this Real Presence?" In one declarative sentence - It is Jesus Christ - true God, but, with emphasis, also - true man. It is the same identical Jesus who changed water into wine at Cana in Galilee. The same who invited Peter to come to Him walking on the water. The Real Presence is the real Jesus with real flesh and real blood, with the same hands and feet and open side that He told the doubting Thomas to touch and believe.

Once this fact dawns on a person - (It is not dawned on everyone who calls himself a Catholic; how well I know). - But once this fact dawns on our minds that Christ performed His miracles as God but through His human nature as man, then the inevitable happens. That person's faith is rewarded by the experience of miracles.

I am not exaggerating. I am not indulging in hyperbole. We all need miracles in our lives. Let's be sure we know what we are saying. During His public ministry the Savior assured His followers they would continue working miracles in their favor. Even more; He promised that the miracles they would perform would be greater than those which His contemporaries witnessed during His visible stay in Palestine.

However, let's have no misunderstanding; Christ the Almighty Son of God, who became man, worked miracles during His visible stay on earth only in favor of those who believed. Those who believed that the man they called Jesus was no one less than Almighty God. We should therefore expect this same Jesus to continue working miracles. But I repeat, only for those who believe that the same Jesus is still on earth, but now demanding our faith twice over. He wants us to believe that He is in the Holy Eucharist with the fullness of His humanity, and also to believe that His human nature is united with the second person of the Holy Trinity.

Christ's contemporaries during His visible stay on earth had only to believe that the man that they saw with bodily eyes was the Incarnate God. We however are to believe that what looks like bread and tastes like wine is the Son of God who became the Son of Mary.

Faith, I repeat is the condition for Christ performing miracles. Is it any wonder that our faith in the Real Presence, the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, should be rewarded by miraculous phenomena. But, what an important adversative, but, you must believe!


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