The Jews of the Old Testament times believed in miracles. The sunrise each day was a miracle. And, of course, the Exodus was the greatest miracle of all. Every miracle recounted in the Old Testament was a sign of the presence and power of God in the world. My favourite miracle is the burning bush event that changed Moses’ life. Not all miracles are that dramatic. Nor do we have to be Jewish to experience God’s presence and the miracles he does for us and through us.
Miracles happen in God’s good time and they are always intended for the salvation of the world. This was Cardijn’s experience, although he probably never thought of the trauma he experienced as a miracle. When he returned home from the minor seminary for holidays, his friends accused him of betraying them and they rejected him. He said of that time, “When I came back for my holidays they were coarse, corrupted and lapsed from the Church—whilst I was becoming a priest.” He never intended it to be that way, but that is the way it is with miracles. They happen as part of God’s plan of salvation.
His concern for his friends developed into a plan for the formation of young workers who would be apostles to the workers of the world. Just as Moses had done, he committed himself to fulfilling his part in God’s plan.
In the Gospel reading for today, Jesus meets some of his disciples on the shore of Lake Galilee early one morning. What I like about the story is his concern for the simple things, like preparing breakfast for his friends. His presence in their lives is miraculous. They had gone to the lake to do some fishing. It is what they knew best, but even that failed them until Jesus entered the scene. In that third meeting after his resurrection, Jesus reassured them of God’s presence in their lives and God working through them to transform the world.
Things happen when people choose to let God into their lives. When they act in obedience to God’s Will, then they witness the presence and power of God at work in the world. Their actions are in response to God’s call to help transform the world.
Biography of Cardinal Joseph Cardijn, by Fr Langdale