Feast of Saint Mark, evangelist

Since the Resurrection is the reality and fullness of new life, it also marks a definitive break with the past.  This comes out especially in the Gospel narratives where we encounter the risen Christ.  He no longer looks the same, He is only really recognizable in the Word and the Eucharistic Bread.  He encourages His disciples to look forward to the new gift: the Paraclete.  “It is good for you that I go, because if I don’t, the Holy Spirit will not come to you.”  Jesus focuses on His relationship with the Father and encourages His disciples to be “in Him” just as He is in the Father.  Christ is the same yesterday today and forever, but our relationship with Him as with God is something that must constantly be evolving and deepening.

The miracles we see the early Church performing are an outstanding manifestation of the power of the Holy Spirit.  We must remember that they are simply a manifestation of a Person, of Someone, and that awakening to a relationship of love with that Someone is the whole point of that manifestation.  Christianity is not about excitement and showy amazing miracles – but those signs and wonders do happen so that we may believe.  Faith is more important than miracles, and faith does something much more important and essential than produce miracles.  On the one hand we see that signs and wonders happen in order to boost faith, on the other hand we see that signs and wonders will not happen if faith is completely lacking.  As our faith evolves, we are less and less drawn to or eager for miracles because those spectacles do not nourish our faith and are not the goal.  The faith that moves mountains isn’t actually concerned with the physical mountain itself, but rather the one who dwells in the mountain.  God dwells in His Holy Mountain, and the faith that moves that Mountain is found in a heart that gives flesh to the breath of the Holy Spirit.  Faith is the only thing that can move the mountain, love is the only thing that can move God.  May the miracles that astound us evolve our hearts to believe with even greater conviction in the power of God’s Love.


We know that the dead who die in the Lord are blessed, and they have no concern with what they would have done if they had lived a longer time. We know that those who believe in the Lord from their own heart do this of their own will and free choice. We who now believe act rightly when we pray to God for those who refuse to believe, and pray that they themselves may in time freely will to believe.1

Gregory the Great:

Is it, my brethren, because we do not have these signs that you do not believe? These were needed at the church’s beginning. The new faith needed to be nourished by miracles to grow. When we plant a vineyard, we must water the plants till we see they have begun to grow in the earth, and when they have once taken root we cease to water them constantly.… But true life cannot be obtained by means of these outward signs by those who perform them. For although corporeal works of this kind sometimes do proclaim an inner holiness of life, they do not bring it about.2


See, God sent apostles, and sent prophets and teachers, gave the gift of healings, which as we have found are given by the Holy Spirit, and God gave many kinds of tongues. But yet all are not apostles, all are not prophets, all are not teachers. Not all, says he, have the gift of healings, nor do all, says he, speak with tongues. For the whole range of divine gifts cannot exist in each particular individual. Each, according to his capacity, receives that which he either desires or deserves.3

Gregory the Great:

There is something to be said of these signs and powers of a more veiled nature. The holy church is even now doing spiritually, every day, what she then did through the apostles corporately. For when priests, by the grace of exorcism, lay hands on believers and forbid evil spirits to inhabit their minds, what are they doing but “casting out demons”? And any believers whatever who henceforth abandon the profanity of the old life, and utter holy mysteries, and rehearse, as best they can, the praise and power of their maker, what are they doing but “speaking in new tongues?” Moreover, when by their good exhortations they remove evil from the hearts of others, are they not “taking up serpents”? Aren’t these miracles the greater because they are spiritual, because they are the means not of raising up bodies but souls? These signs then, beloved, you do if you will. 4


  1. Letter 217, To Vitalis.
  2. Homilies on the Gospels 29.
  3. On the Holy Spirit 2.13.150.
  4. Homilies 29.
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