Thoughts Between Sundays

Some of what crosses my mind between Sundays

Days of Miracle and Wonder

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(Facebook readers, there is a video in this one, so click the link and come over to the blog!)

Perhaps it is because I was listening to Paul Simon’s Graceland in the car tonight, specifically The Boy in the Bubble, that I was thinking about miracles tonight.  Miracles and science and faith and hope and how they all get mixed up into our everyday lives.  The miracles of science and medicine and modern technology that continue to amaze me.  Especially the ones I have encountered this week.

The miracles that allow us to look inside the human body and see the arteries and veins, how the blood flows, or does not flow, and then fix the problem that we did not even know existed.  I wondered about who figured out how to do all of that  — how they were inspired, what problem they were trying to solve when he or she said “I wonder what would happen if we did this…”

The miracles of science that make it possible for organs to go from one person to another – -to allow us to literally give life.

And who figured out that blood could be donated from one person to another?

Or that muscles can be fixed, or cancer treated?

The list is endless.

There are some who will say that this is science, that there is a reason and an explanation that can be broken down to the smallest equation.  I remember when I was in high school and took AP biology.  I hated the first part – -the part where we did a ton of math – lots of science is math based and I just never got it.  But I loved when we got to cells – -cells I could understand – -I could see the parts and know what they did.  Osmosis was cool, mitosis and meiosis I could explain (even if I still can’t spell it) and as the systems and concepts were bigger, I liked it more.  DNA – -I was fascinated.  I could not do the equations, but I got the concept.  We did the electrophoresis with the gel and saw the bars and the genomes of some DNA (this may explain why I was, and still am a forensic science junkie) and I was hooked.  This was what made us – -made us people and made us unique.  In Chemistry, I loved the labs but could not balance an equation to save my life.  Astronomy…  well, the physics about killed me —  but the telescope, I was and still am in amazement every time I looked through it.  Yes, science can be broken down to the numbers and equations, but for me there was always something miraculous about the cells and the DNA and the stars and the chemicals – -something I could not explain or quantify.  This may be why I talk about God and not science for a living.  Because, to this day, I firmly believe that at the root of the numbers, there is divine inspiration.  I believe that God, through the power of the Holy Spirit is the one who inspired a doctor to transplant the first organs and fix the first knees and place the first stints.  I believe that most of what we call modern medicine – even antibiotics and vaccines – are in fact miraculous.

These are indeed the days of miracle and wonder.

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One thought on “Days of Miracle and Wonder

  1. Hi Julie,
    I liked the sermon a whole lot better after I experienced Paul Simon’s video. It’s kind of like that saying, “These are the good old days.” The sermon in combination with the video gives us the sense that the biblical reality is NOW as well as then. In fact, it’s probably more to the point to say that unmodified reality IS now. Sermons like yours and video’s like Simon’s keep dragging me back to that statement that I’ve beaten to death in homilies: “We see God in the rear view mirror.” Perhaps those who are really connected to Him can see in through the windshield. Anyway, I would have liked the sermon without the video. I’ll probably always be prejudiced in favor of your preaching. You can make me see the pictures.

    Unfortunately, over at St. Mary’s the innocent were subjected to my preaching at the 10:00 o’clock Mass. It was typically pedagogical and preachy. Sometimes I don’t think I give the folks credit for their own spirituality.

    By the way, I didn’t thank you for the cheer up and reorientation that you gave me the last time I forgot to take my Cymbalta. So thanks and God bless you.

    Anyway, just for giggles, here’s the my Pentecost rant:

    “Here it is Pentecost Sunday. Can you believe that it’s been a full FIFTY DAYS since Easter? Actually, the word “pentecost” means “fiftieth day”. In scripture we read about the Jews observing the Feast of Pentecost, also known as the Feast of Weeks. The beginning of this morning’s reading from the Book of Acts refers to that Jewish “Pentecost”. The Hebrew name for Pentecost is “Shavuot”. Now the Jewish “Pentecost” or, more correctly, Shavuot occurs fifty days after the Passover. See how things sort of come together? Jesus is Passover Lamb and the Holy Spirit descends to us on Shavuot, which (here’s the punchline) is the feast at which is celebrated God’s giving the Law to Moses on Mt. Sinai. On the day Moses received the law from the very hands of God, Israel became God’s special nation. On the day that the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles, the Church was born. I don’t think that was a mere coincidence.

    When Israel received the Law and began to live the Law, they took the first steps toward saving the rest of the world. The descent of the Holy Spirit is the culmination of what began on Mt. Sinai. It sort of goes like this: On Sinai, God the Father gave us the road map to salvation,

    Then Our Lord Jesus, God’s Son, walked among us and taught us the full meaning of the Law, and, FINALLY,

    ON THIS DAY OF PENTECOST…the Holy Spirit came to us to give us the wisdom and courage to live that full meaning of the Law and to teach it to all of Humankind.

    Now the Church, as an organization, has been pursuing the mission of saving people ever since that first Pentecost Sunday. Now the Church has done such an effective job over these past centuries, that most of US, both clergy and laity, have surrendered the initiative spread the love and hope of Christ, which is the true meaning and purpose of the Law. We who live face to face with the working, thriving, suffering world are really Our Lord’s best ambassadors. The way that each one of us responds to the needs of others whether they be material or emotional is remembered long after anything that the bishop or the Holy Father may say or do is forgotten. We who go into the working world each morning are the face of the Church. We should also be the FACE OF CHRIST.

    In this morning’s gospel we heard our Lord say to His apostles: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
    And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always….”

    If we do love Jesus, then let us keep His commandment to LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Let us also turn to the Holy Spirit who came to us on this very day of Pentecost and seek the wisdom and the courage to keep that commandment. That’s the way we can continue the work begun so long ago by the apostles and, maybe, everyday can be a Pentecost for someone who needs it.”

    Wish I’d read yours before I inflicted that on the faithful. Talk to ya!

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