The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish is very familiar to us. The Gospel today tells us that there were 5000 men and I am sure their families too, (that’s the way they counted people those days) They all were satisfied and there were 12 baskets left over at the end. They were not those who ate one pizza divided by four or one burger lunch. They were people who farmed with animals and used spade and sickles to farm. They were nomadic shepherds who walked miles to find pastures for their sheep. Naturally one man could eat two fish and five loaves. Imagine how much of food may have been needed to satisfy that large a crowd.
Jn 14: 12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” I am sure in the past 2000 years many greater things have taken place and are taking place even now. Those who believe in the Lord and have that trust will see everyday miracles in their lives. I was sitting down with Fr. Joe and going over some homilies to prepare my own. He wanted to know about St. Charbel Makhlouf, so we switched and I found something about his miracles that I can share with you.
St. Charbel lived in the 19th century and is known for his miracles. After his death his body was unearthed a number of times and found intact and every time they found fresh sweat and blood from his body. The metal casket had gotten rusty and corroded and yet his body was intact. He was given a bath and fresh clothes were put on his body. He died on Dec 24, 1898 and his body remained intact until 1965. In 1976 the casket was opened again and his body was found to be decomposed. Many miracles are associated with this saint. There are nearly 300 saints whose bodies are incorruptible in the Catholic Church.
In Jan 2016 the relics of Charbel were brought to St. Joseph Church in Phoenix, Arizona and Dafne a 30-year-old mother of three who was completely blind was brought to the church to pray and this is what she prayed on the way to the church. “Please God heal me — if not for me, then do it for my kids! I’m tired, I’m tired of going to You praying and asking You to heal me…I am giving in. If You don’t want to do it for me, then do it for my kids. “Within 48 hours after the visit to the Church she was completely healed and her sight returned. Numerous tests were conducted. Doctors expressed their shock and press conferences were held to explain the miracle and many more people have flocked to that church since then.
We have heard of numerous miracles associated with the Eucharist. This year on February 27th, 16 months after the devastating earthquake in Italy, a Tabernacle was discovered amid the rubble in the ruins of Our Lady of the Assumption [Santa Maria Assunta ] Church in Arquata, Italy. In it they found 40 hosts that were intact and looked and smelled as if they were prepared on that day. There have been so many cases of Eucharistic miracles. Many of the people who have come into the Catholic church have taken that turn due to the Eucharist and its significance. The words of Christ in Jn 6:53, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” seems to make them wonder and makes them feel the real presence Jesus there and believe in miracles.
In 1522 Magellan’s ship went around the world and proved that the world is round. Since then we all believe that the world is round and are not scared to go and travel thinking that we may fall off the edge of the world. So also if the Lord has shown that He is present in the Eucharist through so many miracles we should not have any hesitation but rather trust Him and believe that He is truly present in the Eucharist and capable of performing so may miracles in my life today and right now in this church.