Celebrate the Good

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Illustration by Br. Martin Erspamer, OSB, a monk of Saint Meinrad Archabbey, Indiana. Used with permission.

I admit I am suspicious of arguments for Christianity based solely on Jesus’ miracles. My faith tradition has taught me to be critical in a good way; to ask deeper questions and give my experience the benefit of the doubt. I’ve never witnessed miracles the way the Gospels tell us Jesus performed them. So, it’s hard for me to read a passage like this one from Luke and feel particularly awestruck or inspired by Jesus’ divine power.  

Providentially for people like me, Luke isn’t trying to convince me of anything by medical miracle. Like so many other stories from Jesus’ ministry, this is about the conflict created among some of the observing bystanders. But the conflict is not over the amazing fact that Jesus inexplicably heals a physical ailment. It’s about the varying judgments the act provokes. Luke says nothing about people claiming the miracle did not happen. Rather, he tells of the snap judgments made about Jesus’ motives and associations.  

Luke is extraordinarily perceptive about our distorted human proclivity for casting judgment, even in the face of objectively good acts. Deep down, if we’re honest, we Christians often look for ways to dismiss, retort, or even discredit people who disturb us. Most of the time we can’t even explain to ourselves why we do it. There is a miracle in this story for us today: we can begin to heal from this proclivity for snap judgments and celebrate the good, even miraculous, works being done by others around us.  

Sebastian Gomes  

Sebastian Gomes is executive editor of audio and video at America Media (americamagazine.org). He is the writer and director of America Media’s documentary People of God: How Catholic Parish Life Is Changing in the United States. 

© Liturgical Press.

Sebastian Gomes

Sebastian Gomes is Executive Editor of Audio and Video at America Media (americamagazine.org). He is also the writer and director of The Francis Impact, a documentary featuring stories of ordinary people who have been impacted by Pope Francis.

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