The Days of Miracles are Not Over

Home > Living the Gospel > The Days of Miracles are Not Over

One of my favorite stories from Scripture is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. (Ch 12) Herod has increased his attacks on the early Christian community. He has beheaded James and now Peter is imprisoned – – chained and heavily guarded. The angel comes at night, loosens his chains and quietly guides him to freedom. Peter goes to one of the homes where many are gathered, praying for his release. As he knocks on the door, Rhoda, a servant girl recognizes his voice and is so overjoyed, overcome; she can’t even open the door! She rushes back to the group to tell them, where they tell her she’s out of her mind. Of course, they eventually put aside their astonishment and have a joyful reunion with Peter.

As I thought about this passage, I questioned my own prayer intent. Of course, I believed that God could do  anything, but when I pray, do I pray with a faith that believes He will?

Today’s gospel brings us two people who definitely had the faith that Jesus could and would answer their request – – and these healings take place early in Jesus’ ministry, not after the Resurrection or Pentecost. Jairus was a leader in the synagogue. We know that the leaders were not very “pro-Jesus.” Yet this man ran after Jesus in the presence of many and kneeled before him asking healing for his daughter. When the servants came with the news that they were too late, Jesus said: “Fear is useless, what is needed is faith.” Jairus did not waiver. He kept following Jesus. His young daughter was raised from the dead to presumably perfect health.

The woman with her faith impresses me even more. First, she was a woman. That alone made it prohibitive for her to touch the Rabbi…and she was bleeding!. I always took it to mean, perhaps incorrectly so, that she suffered from what doctors today would call “Dysfunctional Uterine Bleeding.” That being the case, she was not only a woman, but unclean as well, since menstruating women were considered unclean in those times. (One commentary I read referred to it as “internal bleeding.” But the passage does say “her flow dried up.”) To touch Jesus, even his garment, took a tremendous amount of faith and courage…and to admit it when Jesus asked “Who touched me?” Can you imagine her fear?

Do we pray with such faith? Does Jesus perform miracles today? Do we see the miracles He performs, or do we take His love for granted?

With her consent, I’d like to share a modern day miracle. In March, 2010, my friend and co-worker, Kelley was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia. On her 3rd night, when most who had received all those antibiotics would be showing great improvement, Kelley crashed. By morning she was on a breathing machine in ICU where she remained for over a week with no improvement. During that time, per her mom, who is also a friend, the family was told not once, but twice, that while they wouldn’t give up, there wasn’t much more the doctors could do. Her name was on multiple prayer lists. Her family and friends, being of great faith stormed heaven. On the 10th day, she showed slight improvement and continued to improve. Eventually she went to rehab to regain her strength. They were told to plan on a full month, maybe two. She was home in ten days! She returned to work six weeks later.

Her stories today confirm what a miracle it was. One of her 1st days in rehab a doctor, a stranger to her, knocked on her door. She relates he entered eyes to the floor, chart in hand. When he saw her sitting up, totally alert, and conversational, he asked her name twice to confirm her identity. Then he smiled. “I didn’t expect you to look so good!” He tapped the chart. “You’ve been through the mill!” Then he told her he knew of only one other person with the type of pneumona that she had…..”Jim Hensen, the Muppet man, and he died.” (There may be others, but point made!) Kelley relates another rehab story. One of the staff members, not caring for her, came to her door one day. She was very hesitant. Kelley asked if she could help her. The young girl said: ” All the nurses on the floor say that you are a miracle. I wanted to hug you. My baby is very sick, losing a lot of weight. The doctor doesn’t know why.” They embraced, both of them weeping. The baby is fine.

I also know another woman who was bothered by a “pesky” although not serious medical problem. She had been to the doctors and none of their treatments or suggestions had worked. One day she asked Father for a blessing. After Mass, Father had her sit in a chair and those present who wanted to, laid hands on her. Father (and all of us) prayed. This was mid week. I met her again on Sunday and asked how she was. “Funny thing,” she said, “but I had some issues with it the next day, not as bad as it had been and since then nothing! I really don’t know why!” Do we really see the presence and the hand of God in our lives?

What is needed is faith!! The days of miracles are not over. But what happens to our faith when our prayers are not answered the way we want? Do we give up? We know that nature plays a huge role in what happens in our lives. God can control nature and take away our free wills. But He won’t. Maybe it’s because we all search for answers when something bad happens, but I’ve often wondered when someone dies, as we say “before their time” if in His mercy, He has spared the person from some worse tragedy. Ah, if only we could see the “big picture” as Jesus does! He does answer our prayers in the way that is best for our eternal salvation. This is when even stronger faith and trust is needed….to grab onto His hand and not be afraid.


Linda Caminiti