I think it was some time last year that I read R H Benson’s book on Lourdes and he mentioned the famous – or should I say infamous – case of Emil Zola who not only refused to believe even when God in His mercy provided a miracle for the author’s own viewing, but he went home and wrote up on the miracle telling an outright lie about the end result!
It goes with that strange moment after the miracle of the loaves and fishes when Jesus gives the admittedly difficult to grasp discourse about eating His Flesh and drinking His Blood and all those disciples who had only the day previously eaten miraculously produced food, did a runner. I assume that many of those who left Jesus that day had seen the healings, exorcisms and maybe even the raising of dead people – and yet they walked away. Did they have to lie to themselves and others to excuse the inexcusable? I don’t know.
As I cleaned the kitchen and cooked the dinner today I was listened to Fr Mitch’s Open Line and a man phoned in about the Tilma of Guadalupe. He had been told it was a Spanish import. How weird. There is the Tilma that has gone through a gammit of scientific investigations and survived a bomb attack and still there are those who do not just refuse to believe, but have to lie about it in order to prop up their unbelief.
Obviously there are a lot of fake miracles out there. It’s why the Church has a binding and loosing authority and uses science to help her make decisions. We are all still awaiting the decision about the events of Medjugorje in Croatia.
There have been healings and other miracles throughout the Church since Day 1 and yet so many ignore these signs and don’t bother to even see if they are true or not. It can be a little too easy when reading Scripture to be annoyed at the blindness and astronomical pride of the Pharisees – but nothing much has changed really. We can’t say “But we have not seen,” because in every age God gives us something to look at and see. We just have to look.