We have to be clear about this point. For miracles to happen, especially the most important one which is our own salvation that involves the forgiveness of our sins, faith is needed. This was dramatized in that gospel episode where Christ was presented with a paralytic lying on a stretcher. (cfr. Mt 9,1-8)
“When Jesus saw their faith,” the gospel narrates, “he said to the paralytic, ‘Courage, child, your sins are forgiven.’” Christ said this before he went to cure the man of his paralysis. He cured the man to prove to the unbelieving Jews that he was truly the Redeemer, and as such can do extraordinary cures. And he cured the man precisely because of their faith, that is, their belief that Christ was truly the expected Redeemer.
Nowadays, many people claim that miracles do not happen anymore. They say miracles only took place in the distant past, the time of the gospel when Christ went around in the land of Judea and Galilee. But now, miracles are considered obsolete, if not an anomaly.
This is like saying that Christ, the son of God who became man, has ceased intervening in our lives, that he was purely a historical man, subject to time and space, and that after death, he is simply no more, completely wrapped in the spiritual world, if ever that exists, and that he has no immediate and tangible impact on our lives.
The problem we have is that we lack faith. It is this deficiency that disables us to see a deeper and richer reality that is beyond what we simply see, touch and understand. It is this deficiency that prevents us from asking for some miracles in some difficult situations we can find ourselves in, and from experiencing them.
Remember that time when Christ was pursued by two blind men (cfr Mt 9,27-31). They shouted, “Lord, have pity on us.” But Christ asked them if they have faith. “Do you believe that I can do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they immediately replied. Then Christ told them, “Let it be done to you according to your faith.” And they were cured.
In all the other miraculous cures narrated in the gospel, faith plays a very crucial role. The woman who was cured of her hemorrhage was also commended by Christ because of her faith. “Be of good heart, daughter, your faith has made you whole…” (Mt 9,22)
The same with the blind man, Bartimaeus, and the father of the possessed boy who in his great distress told our Lord earnestly, “I believe, but help my unbelief.”
Besides the lack of faith, many of us have come to associate miracles with big, extraordinary things. Unless a blind man sees again, or a lame starts to walk, or a dead rises to life again, people nowadays say there can be no miracles taking place.
It is faith that lets us enter into the spiritual and supernatural world and see many miracles around. It brings us to share in God’s wisdom and power. Remember those stirring words of Christ: “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from there, and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible to you.” (Mt 17,20)
Without faith, in spite of our keenest intelligence, we will miss much of the more important aspects of our life as we would only be restricted to the here and now, the material and the temporal.*