THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2013
SIGNS AND WONDERS
Today’s gospel: Mark 6:45-52
Jesus is God, and so he is able to work miracles and wonders.
In this incident, Jesus is “walking on the sea”
(Mk 6:49a), and when he got into the boat “the wind
died down.” (Mk 6:51a).
our work of evangelization we also witness many signs and
wonders. This is but natural, for we serve the Almighty God,
who manifests His power in different ways. In our work, because
we are God’s instruments empowered by His Spirit, because
we act in faith, we are able to work wonders. Now there are
different ways by which we react to such wonders.
we become “terrified” (Mk 6:50a). Let us face
it. We know ourselves. Many of us come from dark lives in
the world. Then we come into the light of Christ. Then we
begin to serve him. As we do, he enables us to work wonders.
Now that can be quite unsettling. We receive gifts of healing,
or miracles, or prophecy, and we do not quite know what to
make of it. We begin to be afraid of what God might be demanding
of us. We fear where it will all lead, as God uses us more
and more. So Jesus tells us, “Take courage, it is I,
do not be afraid!” (Mk 6:50b). We must realize that
God calls us and uses us. We are mere instruments. It is Jesus
acting in and through us. He will always be there for us.
we fail to understand (Mk 6:52a). When God acts through signs
and wonders, He is revealing Himself to us, to the world.
God is not just a performer, out to impress the crowds. Every
act is meant to make Himself known to a people He loves and
wants to bless, and to disciples He wants to teach and use.
Thus we must not only savor a wondrous deed God enables us
to perform, but we must pray and discern and seek God’s
wisdom on what He is teaching us and where He is leading us
to go. Every so often, we must do as Jesus did, as “he
went off to the mountain to pray.” (Mk 6:46b).
our “hearts are hardened.” (Mk 6:52b). Hardness
of heart comes when one does not accept Jesus, or does not
accept what Jesus is trying to tell us. Even as we are already
serving God, we might have our own ideas, agenda, priorities,
preferences, and so on. When God tries to make us accept some
things or go in certain directions which we do not prefer,
we resist. We make justifications. We rationalize. We reject.
We harden our hearts. Such attitudes prevent us from comprehending
Jesus’ self-revelation though signs and wonders.
we are “completely astounded.” (Mk 6:51b). Now
this is the proper reaction. We must be awed and amazed and
astonished at what God does. We must know that He is Almighty
God for whom nothing is impossible. We must know that the
Spirit blows where and as He wills. We must never lose our
childlike awe at God’s revelations. We must eagerly
and joyfully accept. We must bow down in worship. We must
know that we are mere instruments who are nothing apart from
His grace and power, but as He wills, are able to also perform
signs and wonders.
Jesus sends us forth to do his work. We proclaim him and we
prepare the way for him to return in glory. “Then he
made his disciples get into the boat and precede him to the
other side” (Mk 6:45a). Our work will be challenging,
as we oppose the forces of darkness. While we soar with the
wind of the Spirit, there is also the enemy blocking and counter-attacking.
At times we will experience what Jesus’ disciples did,
as “they were tossed about while rowing, for the wind
was against them.” (Mk 6:48a). At times we may feel
Jesus is very far from our work, as if our “boat was
far out on the sea and he was alone on shore.” (Mk 6:47).
We may feel he is absent from our life, as if for an indefinite
period “he had taken leave of (us)” (Mk 6:46a).
At times we might sense his presence, but being unmindful
of our needs and problems, as the disciples probably did,
when “he came toward them walking on the sea. He meant
to pass by them.” (Mk 6:48c). At times we might encounter
him, but not recognize the God who loves and cares for us,
the God who lives and walks with us, as we think he is a ghost
(Mk 6:49b), unreal amidst our urgent cares and concerns.
we must always know that Jesus is there for us. He is the
one who sends us forth into the world, and he is the one who
is committed to care for us. He allows us to experience pains
and trials and challenges as part of the refining process.
But Jesus will always get “into the boat with (us) and
the wind (will die) down.” (Mk 6:51a).
Expect those signs and wonders, for faith works wonders. Just
continue to BE.LI.EV.E!
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