And he did not work many mighty deeds there because of their lack of faith. ( Matthew 13:58)
Imagine yourself by the ocean enjoying the day. You grab a raft and paddle out into the water. A current pushed you out father than you intended. You begin to panic but you see a life guard paddling after you. Just then a wave knocks you off the raft but the life guard is only a few inches away. He has a hard time holding on to you because you’re struggling so much. You have a hard time believing he can really help you. “Let go!” he shouts over the water. “I’ve got you.” As you finally surrender, he gets you free and is able to bring you to the shore safe and sound.
Today’s Gospel tells us that Jesus wasn’t able to perform many miracles in his hometown because of the people’s weak faith. Mind you, the people weren’t thrashing around emotionally, but they still couldn’t bring themselves to surrender to Jesus. They stayed stuck in their limited logical thinking, even though he was right in front of them, offering them a way out and a way up.
Rather than being proud of Jesus and his intelligence and wisdom, some of his neighbors and relatives took offense at him. I wonder: Were they jealous of Jesus? Did they think that Jesus thought that he was better than they were? Or were they envious of him? By their words and actions, they scorned Jesus! And thus, he was not able to work any great deeds there. Their lack of faith was too deep!
In our journey with the Lord, we too need to learn to surrender to Jesus. This is an important element in the call to faith: to trust that Jesus knows what he’s doing and to believe that he is strong enough to save you. Yes, faith has to do with knowing the tenets of the Church. Yes, it has to do with trying our best to follow the commandments and to care for the poor and needy. And yes, it has to do with sharing our beliefs and standing up for what is right. But at the heart of faith is this call to surrender. Without this, all the other things lose their power.
Christ want to work miracles in our lives. He wants to help us be a light for others. If we can shake off our superficiality and lack of faith, we will discover the powerful presence of the Savior who helps us live each moment with depth and love. He can do miracles in our life. He can help us live the virtues which are most costly for use. But we have to be willing to take a risk for Christ and trust him totally.
What gets you stuck? Fear over the future? Guilt or resentments from the past? A “logical” approach to the present that doesn’t leave room for the grace of God? Whatever it is, know that Jesus is inviting you to something greater. Imagine him standing in front of you, his arms open wide. Hear him tell you, “Relax. I’ve got you. You can let go.”
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, I know you want to do great things in my life. Help me to see how you can transform the ordinary, seemingly unimportant circumstances of my day into moments when your grace triumphs. Enable me to be docile to your Holy Spirit, so he can do miracles in my life.”
Jesus is all powerful, but our unwillingness to accept the fact that we are important enough for Him to work miracles within us can blunt the power. His work is hidden, sometimes even denied, to those who refuse to believe in Jesus’ power. So, let’s be a people who not only pray, but pray with faith and expectation, anticipating Jesus’ mighty work and providential surprises.