How easy it can be to look at different instances in which Jesus performed miracles, or signs as recorded in John’s Gospel, as something that really was a mass hypnotic event. For instance, the Wedding at Cana where His Mother told Jesus that they had no more wine. She went on to tell the waiters to; “ do whatever he tells you.” Six stone jars were present and were used for ceremonial washings, each capable of holding twenty to thirty gallons of water. Jesus told them to fill the jars and they filled them to the brim. Then he told them; “Draw some out and take it to the headwaiter.” They did so and when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine he stated; “Everyone serves good wine first, then when they have drunk freely an inferior wine is served, but you have kept the best until now.” (Jn. 2: 5-10).
Perhaps a magician could’ve made them believe this was good wine, while under the auspices of water and passed this off as a miracle. There are those who want to take miracles, especially performed by Jesus, as something that fits into our human understanding of events that could never be more than our finite minds can conceive.
When at Mass and the priest extends his hands over the gifts of bread and wine and calls down the Holy Spirit to change these species into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, do Catholics, as many non-Catholics believe, that this is simply a memorial of the Resurrection and partake of them imagining but not actually eating and drinking the Body and Blood of Christ, Crucified and Risen? We believe that we have consumed the total Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ; not a make-believe entity, but the real Presence of the Word of God. If we are in a hypothetical existence on many of the signs as seen in the Gospel of John, then perhaps this scenario would make sense. But, that is not what happens on our altars daily.
True, Copernicus believed the sun and stars revolved around the earth, and Galileo followed suit. These thoughts of course were eventually discounted as science, astronomy and other philosophies were created and confirmed to what we now accept as fact. However, these were not considered miracles but scientific revelations and like many can be overturned once modern science can be proven.
Miracles occur often, but must be shown that they are beyond the scope of human intervention and if they cannot be attached to any possible explanation then they may stand as miracles, having divine intervention beyond the realm of man’s undertaking.
Back to the Wedding at Cana; water was used to fill the containers and became wine. Miracle? Yes since no possible explanation can account for this sign. Raising Lazarus from the dead. Miracle? Yes, only God can do this and it is the last sign from John’s Gospel that He will raise us as well. How about feeding five thousand men? Miracle? Some I have heard speak about the many thousands coming with baskets of food and shared them with their neighbors. If Jesus only fed a few with five loaves and two fish, then it was not a miracle since the happening could be explained in a human manner.
Following is an excerpt from a quote on the internet (profile/catholic-answers-staff) regarding a question from a parishioner somewhere; “My pastor said in a homily the biblical account of Jesus feeding the five thousand was not a miracle; instead it was a “miracle of sharing.” Is this true?”
They responded in a similar manner as this article is portraying. Two sections of the CCC confirm this as truly a miracle and a connection to the Eucharist with Jesus’ teaching on the Last Supper immediately after the feeding of five thousand (Jn. 6: 1-15). See CCC # 1335 and # 1329. It was a supernatural event and we must adhere to those facts that to attempt to interject what might seem to be more explainable from stories in the bible by human standards removes the reality of God’s ability to forgive us, redeem our souls, and prepare a place for each of us in heaven with Him. All of Salvation History points to the Christ who came to introduce us with His Father and from the very beginning prepared a journey of Grace and yes covered our lives with many unbelievable events leading to our own Resurrection.
Let’s go back to the Eucharist and how the complete Body and Blood of Christ is present in the bread and wine and never dissipates. Even the smallest, consumable particle of the Host contains all of the Body and Blood of Christ. How is it then millions can partake of the Host and/or the Sacred Blood at the same time and He is there for the next day, and the next day, and forever as long as humanity exists? Miracle? Absolutely!