They call me at night:
-My mother is very ill, she is in the hospital.
-I'll be right there.
He was not someone I knew, I had never seen him around the church.
Arriving at the hospital I find, as I often do, someone who is unconscious, in preagony. Mouth wide open, shortness of breath, sallow color...
I give him the anointing of the sick and leave.
In the morning my son calls me. So as not to ask him what time his mother died, I tell him: How is your mother?
-Sitting up in bed asking for breakfast.
Years later, they were regulars at mass; I laughed with the mother and son.
It was a miracle.
On another occasion a priest went to anoint someone who was in a coma. A few days later, I went to see that man and I was talking to him. His wife said to him:
-Look, the priest who anointed you has come to see you.
-It wasn't him," replied the gentleman. It was someone else.
I didn't know either of us, but he knew it wasn't me, it was someone else.
I dare to say that for the new evangelization and the pastoral transformation of the parish we have to believe with a faith capable of working miracles.
How much faith?
Like a mustard seed.
Jesus did not say: "To those who are very holy They will accompany these miracles: in my name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues, they will seize snakes with their hands, and if they drink any poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will be healed" (cf. Mk 16:17-18).
What Jesus said was: "To those who believe will accompany these miracles...".
Jesus did not say: "Those who believe will be accompanied by these miracles...but only until the last of the apostles dies.", o "...only until Constantine signs the edict of Milan....". Jesus said: "To those who believe..." always.
With how much faith?
Like a mustard seed.
There will only be a New Evangelization and there will only be parish renewal if we are willing to believe with a faith capable of working miracles.
Before you put up a poster and the church was full for Lenten talks, now people have to see miracles.
Why did people gather around Jesus?
If Jesus had said "I am going to remind you of the commandments" or "I am going to speak to you about the uniqueness of God", they would have said: "we already know that, it is boring".
But Jesus worked miracles.
"My message and my preaching are not based on persuasive words of wisdom, but on the manifestation of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith is not based on human wisdom but on the power of God," said the Apostle Paul (1 Cor 2:4).
The Power of God.
Do you base your preaching on the manifestation of the Spirit and the power of God? Do you base your pastoral ministry on the power of God? Do you prepare the faithful to see miracles?
When people see miracles, the churches will be full, then we will not stop baptizing, hearing confessions, giving catechesis and formation, raising vocations....