Even though it was the Church that gave the world the canon for the scriptures, it’s almost depressing to see how little most Catholics know the Bible. Recently, I’ve been focusing many of my personal prayers on the great power of God and reflecting upon the way the Lord is deeply involved with creation. The big miracles of scripture are often inspiration for these prayers and increase my wonder and awe in His mighty works.
The Latin word for miracle (miraculum) means an object of wonder. These events defy human logic, the laws of science, and ultimately reveal God’s magnificent wonder. Below is a list that focuses on some of the lesser known but equally great miracles of scripture. This is only my opinion and not an official list. Feel free to disagree with the order or worthiness of selected stories.
10. The Poisonous Viper VS. St. PaulSnake Jumps Out of the Campfire Acts 28:3-6
During a winter in Malta, St Paul is bit by a viper in the hand and everyone thought it was a sign he was a murderer.
When the poison didn’t kill him or harm him, they were convinced he must be a god. Once he has their attention, St. Paul uses the opportunity to convert them to Christianity.
9. A Young Man Falls Asleep and Dies in MassSt. Paul Revives Eutychus Acts 20:9-12
St. Paul had a very long homily, and the young Eutychus was sitting on a window sill when he was overcome by sleep.
He fell from the third story and was found dead, but St. Paul was able to bring him back to life.
Surprisingly, Euthychus then had enough energy to stay up talking all night. If you’re dozing off at mass, remember to pay attention.
8. Shadow of An Apostle Has the Power to HealDozens Line the Streets in Hope of Healing Acts 5:15
St. Peter is so filled with the spirit that the gifts and graces just pour out of him for the Church. This is a great point to consider when we venerate relics. The gifts from saints are always meant to be shared with everyone, and the physical encounter is sometimes the best vehicle for miracles.
7. God Uses a Donkey to Speak to BalaamDonkey Questions Balaam’s Actions Number 22:21-35
An angel appears with sword drawn before Balaam, but only the donkey sees him first. The donkey rightly refuses to continue, and Balaam strikes him 3 times.
The donkey asks why he is being beaten, and then Balaam is finally able to see the angel. This story shows us that God is able to use anyone as his messenger. If God is calling you to speak, don’t hesitate your ability to be chosen. If even a donkey can do it, how much more does He care for you.
6. The Shadow of the Sun Move BackwardsGod Reverses the Sun as Proof of His Word Isaiah 38:8-22
King Hezekiah is at the point of death. Isaiah brings a message that God has heard his prayer and will give him another 15 years if he submits to the Lord.
He moves the sundial down 10 steps as a sign of his work of the miracle. The story doesn’t specify if the sun moved or if it was just the shadow. Either way, God is capable of either, and His message was clear.
5. Dead Man Comes Back to Life from RelicsThe bones of the Prophet Elisha Revive Dead 2 Kings 13:15-21
Before he dies, Elisha instructs the army how to defeat the Moabites. It happens as he said.
When burying a dead man, he is accidentally dropped on Elisha’s bones, and he is brought
back to life. This is another great example of the power of relics and the intercession of the Saints.
4. Ezekiel Raises an Army of Dry BonesThe Word of God Brings Life to the dead Ezekiel 37:1-14
God wants to show Ezekiel the power of His word, so he asks the prophet to speak His word to the valley of the dry bones. The Spirit descends upon the bones and brings the army back to life.
Many times, we take scripture for granted, and often think about anything but the stories when we hear them in Mass. This story reminds us that our dry bones are thirsty for His loving word.
3.The Sun and Moon Stand Still OvernightJoshua asks for an extended day to defeat the enemy Joshua 10:12-14
Joshua and his army have the advantage with the setting sun at their backs, but He needs more time. God gives him extra hours of light for almost a day. God can do anything. It’s possible that he stopped the rotation of the earth and moon in order to accomplish this, but it’s also possible that he just generated light in the same location to keep it in the eyes of the enemy and light the path of Joshua.
2. Apostle Saint Philip Mysteriously TeleportsSt Philip is physically caught up by Holy Spirit Acts 8:39
The Spirit tells Philip to find a chariot, where he finds and evangelizes an Ethiopian court official.
After Baptizing him, St Philip is caught up by the Spirit and taken to Aztous. This line is so short that most of us miss if the first time around or until someone points it out, but it happened.
1. Chariot of Fire Taken to Heaven in WhirlwindElijah is assumed to Heaven Body and Soul 2 Kings 2:1-14
Elisha and Elijah part waters and then Elijah is taken up in a Chariot of Fire straight to heaven. He leaves Elisha his robe and is granted his desire of double Elijah’s spirit. Elijah’s ascension is a wonderful story of the hope for all of us as we await the resurrection of the dead and venerate the Holy Assumption of Mary.
Miracles are wonderful, but they aren’t the only way the God works in our lives. The majority of the time, God works in the quiet whispers and the gentle movements in our heart. The very fact that our hearts are beating and our sense are able to consume this information is a blessing and a mini-miracle in itself.