Good morning father.
Last Sunday, from the Gospel according to Mark, we read the passage about Lord Jesus appearing to the Eleven: “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed” (Mark 16:15-20).
Reading this passage of the Gospel, it seems to me that true preachers can be distinguished from false ones because their words are followed by supernatural actions, such as healing the sick, etc.
Too easy! In reality, it is very difficult to distinguish between inspired and malevolent preaches.
Personally, I believe in the commandment of love: “And He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Upon these two commandments hang the whole Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22,37-40). I think it is the base and foundation of any religion and, particularly the second part, is the solution for the peaceful coexistence of all peoples.
The millimetric distinction about the gravity of sins appears to me almost redundant.
What do you think?
Dear reader and friend,
1. Charity witness is certainly important and unavoidable. Jesus said: “By this all people will know that you are My disciples: if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35).
2. Nevertheless, miracles are also important because they strengthen faith.
Jesus himself said: “Jesus answered them: ‘I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father’s name, these testify of Me’” (John 10:25).
And: “If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father” (John 10: 37-38).
“Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me; otherwise believe because of the works themselves” (John 14:11).
3. Jesus says that miracles help to believe.
Miracles have been especially important in the early days of evangelical preaching. St. Gregory the Great writes: “So maybe do we, who do not make these signs, not believe? But these things were necessary at the beginning of the Church. In fact, in order to grow, the faith of believers had to be nourished by miracles; as we do when we plant the shrubs: we infuse them with water until they have strengthened but, once they have taken root, we stop watering them” (St. Gregory the Great, Homily 29 on the Gospels).
4. He then adds that even today these wonders are renewed in a spiritual sense, that is, through love of God and of neighbor.
Here the great Pope, and Doctor of the Church, agrees with you.
In fact, he writes: “But in these signs and virtues there are things which we have to meticulously search. The Holy Church spiritually does every day what the Apostles bodily did: in fact, when the priests lay their hands on believers and prevent evil spirits from living in their minds by the grace of exorcism, what else do they do but cast out demons? And every faithful speaks new languages when he abandons the ideas of the century and keeps his thoughts turned to the holy mysteries; he also takes snakes with his hand, snatching evil from the hearts of his brothers through his good advice.
Those, who understand harmful proposals and do not follow in their fulfillment, drink poison without being harmed; and, whenever seeing weakened conducts in good people, while giving example by their own actions to strengthen them, they lay hands on the sick and heal them; all these are greater miracles since they belong to the spirit and, thanks to them, not the bodies but the souls are torn from death” (St. Gregory the Great, Homily 29 on the Gospels).
5. This is how “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) is shown concretely by facts, indeed by true spiritual prodigies.
With the hope that we all can manifest these wonders to the world, I bless you.