There Can Be Miracles When You See and Believe
(5th Sunday in Ordinary Time)
What is a miracle? (Unsa man ang pasabot sa atong ginatawag nga “milagro”?) The dictionary definition of miracle is that it refers to a surprising and welcome event that cannot be explained by natural or scientific laws. In the Scriptures, a miracle is an event that involves the direct and powerful action of God. Kining gitawag nato nga milagro usa ka panghitabo nga dili nato matukib, dili nato masabtan ug ma-explain that is why we say this is a work of God and is from God. We have heard about many miracles especially in the Bible. In the Old Testament we heard the story of the parting of the Red Sea by God through Moses by which the people of Israel crossed over thus ending their slavery in Egypt. There was another one during the time of Joshua by which the sun did not set until they have defeated their enemies in a battle. There were miraculous cures especially of leprosy like that of Naaman, a Syrian, and many more. These miracles are works of God that inspires wonder and awe, displays the greatness and glory of God, and leads the people to realize that God is present and active in the world. Some of us may have experienced miracles in their lives. I have heard of stories about miracle babies, cure/healing from certain illnesses, deliverance from evil and sin, finding of somebody who got lost, and many more. Kini nga mga milagro nga atong nasinati nagpakita kanato nga anaa gayud ang Ginoo kanunay nga naga-uban ug naggiya kanato bisan sa atong panahon ug sitwasyon karon. God is ever present with us. He is truly the Emmanuel, God with us.
In today’s Gospel we heard about a miracle performed by Jesus in front of 3 fishermen in Galilee. The miracle in our Gospel today is called the “miraculous catch.” Why was it considered a miracle? It was miraculous because Simon and his crew have already given up after fishing all night and not catching a single fish. Isn’t that discouraging and tiring? They have given all their effort, going to the deep all night long in order to earn a living, yet they were not successful. They failed. Then a carpenter walks by, in the person of Jesus, and suggests that they try again. These three fishermen listened to the advice of an ordinary carpenter, whom they heard teaching the people about the Word of God and his advice actually worked. They were able to catch a great number of fish that their nets were tearing. Sa kadaghan sa isda nga ilang nakuha, hapit na magisi ang ilang pukot. That was how much fish they got after listening not to a fellow fisherman, but a carpenter and a teacher of the Word of God. Then their leader, Simon Peter, saw this miraculous catch, fell at the knees of Jesus. A very important statement by the evangelist is presented here in the Gospel, Simon Peter saw (nakakita si Simon Pedro). What did Peter see? Unsa man ang nakita ni Pedro? He saw the great catch of fish after listening to the carpenter and teacher Jesus as a miracle. Nakita ni Simon Pedro nga kadtong panghitaboa us aka milagro, usa ka panghitabo nga wala niya masabti ug matukib. In front of the great miracle, Simon Peter fell at the knees of Jesus and said these words, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” Because Peter saw the miracle, he recognized Jesus as Lord and God, and he acknowledged that in front of God, he was a sinful man, an unworthy person, a nobody. Giangkon ni Simon Pedro ang iyang pagkamakasasala sa atubangan sa Ginoo nga nagpakita kanila niadtong mao nga milagro.
Brothers and sisters, God is ever present with us. His presence is something that we feel and experience every day. With His active presence in our life, we can say that there are a lot of miracles that are happening every day, right in front of us. Maybe the question is, are we able to see them as miracles? We start our day by waking up from a restful sleep, are we able to recognize this as a miracle? Many of us are able to do things, work and study, play, and enjoy life because we are in good health, do we say that our good health is a miracle? Niadtong Disyembre kita nakasinati sa bagyo, ug bisan unsa pa kadto kakusog, daghan man kanato ang nagub-an ug mga panimalay, nawad-an ug mga butang, apan karon buhi ug nagpadayon gihapon sa kinabuhi, dili ba kini usa ka milagro? Just like Simon Peter, the key is the ability to SEE that a miracle is unfolding. To where shall it lead us? Just like Peter who saw and recognized the miracle, we also will fall on our knees in adoration and thanksgiving to the Lord. When we are able to see the hand of God in the many events of our life, we cannot but be led to pray, give thanks, adore and honor God, and even ask for His forgiveness.
In this Holy Eucharist, we shall also witness a miracle: the bread and wine that is to be consecrated will become the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. Later on during Communion, the priest or minister will proclaim to each of us, “The Body of Christ” and our response is “Amen” which means, “I believe.” Nagatuo ako nga ang akong gikalawat mao gayud ang Lawas ni Cristo. Thus every time we celebrate the Mass, we are witnessing a miracle, and we are receiving Him who made the miracle possible, Jesus Christ Himself. This is our challenge for today and the coming days: let us open our eyes of faith in order to recognize God’s miracles in our lives. Once we see these miracles, let us allow ourselves to kneel in front of the Lord in prayer. Today as we receive the Body of Christ, another miracle will happen to us: that we will become Jesus’ miracle to the people around us starting in our families and communities through the transformation and change of heart. Let us be “fishers of men,” like the first apostles of Jesus in the Gospel, because we ourselves have experienced the miracle in and through our Lord Jesus today. Amen.
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