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Miracles more for our salvation than mere cure

That beautiful gospel episode about a man with palsy who was brought to Christ by his friends for a cure in a very dramatic way (cfr. Lk 5,17-26) teaches us the lessons that a strong faith is needed for miracles to happen, that miracles are meant more to forgive our sins and for our salvation rather than just curing an ailment, and that we have to be wary of our tendency to be fault-finders due to our unbelief.

Indeed, miracles require a strong faith since they are an extraordinary divine and supernatural intervention. They are like asking God to go beyond but not against our natural capabilities that will always be hounded by our limitations, weaknesses and the consequences of our sins.

God never abandons us and is always solicitous of our needs. The problem is simply ours because we tend to ignore him and, worse, to be weak in our faith or even not to have faith. We need to do something to address this predicament of ours. Let’s study the doctrine of faith, start to live it by making many acts of faith throughout the day, etc.

Let’s remember that if we have faith, Christ assured us that nothing would be impossible. Let’s relish his words: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from there, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you.” (Mt 17,20)

Also, we have to realize more deeply that miracles are meant more for the forgiveness of our sins, for our salvation, rather than just giving us some cure or remedy to an ailment of ours.

In fact, we can say that any miraculous cure is meant for the purpose of our salvation. It’s not just to give us some earthly relief, though there is no doubt that such relief would already constitute a tremendous favor. We should never miss this aspect of a miracle that can come to us, otherwise that miracle would go to waste or would spoil us.

In this particular gospel episode of the man with the palsy, Christ did not immediately cure him of his ailment. Rather he forgave the man’s sins which led to some of the unbelieving Jews to question him. Christ used that occasion to clarify that he has the power to forgive sins, precisely because he is God who became man to save us. The miraculous cure served as some kind of proof to his divinity.

We also have to be wary of our tendency to be unbelieving, especially because we have to contend with spiritual and supernatural realities that may challenge our understanding. Here, we simply have to be humble to be able to receive what is told to us by faith. We have to realize that our life, being a life with God and therefore is supernatural, needs to be lived by faith more than just by our reason alone.

We have to constantly struggle against our tendency to be dependent only on our reason and our feelings. These human faculties of ours can only capture a part of the reality that governs us. It is the faith that gives us the global picture of things, since it relates us to God, our Father and Creator, and tells us everything we need to know and do to be able to be with God, as our life ought to be.*

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