Miracles are not simply a deviation from the norm nor an interruption of the natural order.
They are God’s interventions in the world to restore what should be or to assure what should happen, Bishop W. Shawn McKnight stated at Christmas.
“If anyone ever asks you, ‘Do you believe in miracles?’ you should respond with your faith in the Christ-child: ‘Not only do I believe in miracles, I expect them to happen!’” he said.
Offering the Vigil Mass the evening of Dec. 24 in the Cathedral of St. Joseph, Bishop McKnight spoke of the greatest miracle of all: “God becoming man — lowering Himself, not just as a man but a little infant, a little baby — in order to heal our broken, fractured relationship with God caused by the sin of Adam and Eve.”
He pointed out that Joseph, husband of Mary, initially had trouble accepting his appointed role in bringing the Christmas miracle about.
“Joseph had almost given up because of Mary’s pregnancy,” the bishop noted. “He had a reverential fear for the great mystery of her child, not anger for Mary being pregnant, as is sometimes thought.”
Well aware of God’s promise to send a Savior, as well as his own unworthiness to be a part of the fulfillment of that promise, Joseph tried to excuse himself from the whole thing.
But God’s angelic messenger told him not to be afraid.
“The angel comes to make sure what should happen, does happen,” said Bishop McKnight. “The angel seeks to ease not fear of himself, but of Joseph’s own appointed task or vocation, as son of David, spouse of the Virgin, and father to Jesus.”
The miracle of Christmas changed Joseph into St. Joseph.
Accordingly, the bishop urged everyone to follow Joseph’s example, trusting humbly and confidently in the merciful providence of God, Who makes all things possible.
He asserted that Christians are being called upon every day to help bring miracles about in their own lives, families and community.
“Be miraculous!” he instructed the people. “That’s what He wants us to do. When someone is in need of food, clothing, healthcare or companionship, be the miracle that changes the life of another because of your charity and mercy, making things the way they should be.”
“May we go forth from our celebration of the miracle of the Eucharist to bring about the miracle of Christmas in our day!” Bishop McKnight stated.