Deep down we all love to hear about miracles and even experience them in our own lives although we, oftentimes, approach them with adult cynicism. First of all, we usually think we are not worthy of receiving miracles. Secondly, we dismiss them out of hand for fear that others will laugh at us should we share them, so better to pretend we didn't even notice them in the first place. Worse, we doubt our own ability to be architects of miracles, which we can be, when we cooperate fully with God.
Listening to Sister Maria Jose of the Verbum Dei* community share how she and another sister spent the last 20 years establishing their community here in Singapore and how the growing community proved all the naysayers wrong, I have to agree with Father John Paul, the main celebrant of their 20th anniversary celebration in Singapore that there is no lack of vocations but, rather, there a lack of vision and trust - trust in God and where He is leading, each slow, uncertain step of the way.
Sister MJ had a true missionary spirit and lived out the poverty, chastity and obedience of Jesus as He did in His time on earth, and ended up growing the Kingdom in what was thought to be barren land, bearing much fruit in a scarce 20 years. Miracle upon miracle unfolded through the years of great struggle as the community established their presence here.
As Father Anthony preached last Saturday: if we truly know who and what we are as children of God, we will find ourselves going out and sharing the Good News, impelled by an inner effervescence and generosity of heart to spread the deep joy that can be found in the salvific love of Jesus Christ.
We are all saints in the making for we share in Christ's divinity as fully as He shares in our humanity. If we truly wish to maximize our saint-like potential, then we will listen to Him wholeheartedly and tread where angels fear to go, walking the narrow path unreservedly. Our bodies may be bathed in sweat, and tears, but we will experience the daily miracles that flourish in the fertile soil of aligning our wills with His. This is how we channel divinity, infusing our humanity with the best of virtues, living meaningfully the quotidian without losing hope or faith, working the extraordinary into the small, ordinary, even boring stuff.
Today P and I have been married nine months. It feels like a lifetime he jokingly remarked. I agreed with a smile for I can no longer imagine life without him - he has grown dear and familiar to me. Worshipping the Lord in marriage has been extremely rich and life-giving for me. I feel I have been stretched to grow in new ways that bring nuance to my spirituality and dimension to my personality. I have become more wise, more patient, more forgiving, and, more loving, all, of course, by the grace of God, for in striving to serve Him better, I recognize that I can do this by being a better wife and mother - all the time.
It's so clichéd but so true that one can never outdo Jesus in generosity for despite giving up many things, I have received more pleasure and joy, especially from the small miracles of family life every day. So when it comes to miracles, I comprehend fully that I have my own part to play as well: I first need to acknowledge Jesus as my all in all, relying on Him completely and with humble simplicity; I need to pray unceasingly for the needs of others for prayer can change the world; and, I need to act with unrelenting compassion and mercy as Jesus did by remaining open to the gentle promptings of the Spirit.
Like Mother Mary who remained resolute when the Angel Gabriel called her name and answered with that first "easy" yes (and that is why we honour her Holy Name today), and then proceeded to carry and give birth to the miracle called Jesus Christ, we can all be miracle makers with a simple yes. So what's your miracle today?
* To read more of the history of Verbum Die in Singapore, go to: http://verbumdeisingapore.org/latest/about-verbum-dei-singapore-4/