Twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Miracles of Faith
Besides being cured, what do Nathan (first reading) and the leper who thanked Jesus (Gospel) have in common? Both of them began to believe. Nathan proclaims Israel’s God to be the only God; he even wants to worship the LORD in his own country. The only leper who returned to thank Jesus was “glorifying God in a loud voice” (Luke 17:15). It makes me wonder, what miracles do we see that help us grow in faith?
For an answer, we can look at a second thing they had in common: they both asked for help. Sometimes we get caught up in self-sufficiency mode, thinking we have to handle all our problems by ourselves. We may miss out on good solutions by not asking for help. Help often comes from someone who shows us a way through our problems, without solving them for us. Perhaps if we talk about the problem with another person, the solution will become obvious to us. If you think asking for help is a sign of weakness, you may be missing a chance for God to act through one of your friends and give you support. And, of course, you can ask God for help in prayer, giving God the chance to speak to your heart with the answer or the encouragement you need.
Miracles don’t just happen to other people. We may have friends who help us in times of need or inspire us with their faith, but we have to decide to make a leap of faith ourselves. The third thing that Nathan and the leper did in common was express their faith. You can spend your whole life thinking that you are a Christian, but if you never express that faith, it will be no more than a theory. Scientists work with theories all the time, but until they write out the math or do the experiments, the theory is never proven. St. Paul in the second reading, for example, was suffering in prison, but he didn’t mind because his suffering demonstrated the importance of Jesus’ message to him. So he wrote from prison in the hope that other Christians would be encouraged in their faith. Perhaps you know of someone who inspired you with their faithfulness and dedication. Having a friend who helps us grow in faith can be a very nice miracle indeed.