When one looks at the Jesus’ healing of the woman afflicted with hemorrhages and the raising of Jairus’ daughter in today’s Gospel, or Jesus’ healing of the centurion’s servant in yesterday’s Gospel, or God’s causing Sarah (who was way past child-bearing age) to be with child in yesterday’s first reading, and then looks at all of the suffering in the world today, there might be a temptation to ask, why isn’t God performing miraculous deeds today? Why doesn’t God step in now the way he did 2000 years ago. If God could make an old woman pregnant and raise a child from the dead, why is God sitting back not doing something about the problems of the world today? Why doesn’t God appear now?
The short answer, of course, is that the way God works in the world now is through us. In the words a young man once used to describe the message of the Ascension: “The ball’s in our court now.”
Throughout the long history chronicled in the Old Testament, while the Israelites waited longingly for the Messiah, God stepped in now and then to remind the people of His promise of salvation and to give them hope. And then God actually became human, fulfilling his promise of salvation through Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. God did his part and before Jesus ascended, he commissioned us to do the rest. The victory already being won, he left us to mop up, so to speak.
We don’t always do such a great job of it. And, sure, it would be a whole lot easier if God just snapped his fingers and got rid of evil, fed the world’s hungry and stopped all the wars and all of the strife. But that doesn’t change the reality that it is our task…the reality is that we are called to be God’s agents in the world today. We are called to be Christ to the world. God is there to help us; God gives us the grace we need to accomplish what God wills and does occasionally give us a miracle as a symblo of hope. But He is not going to do the job for us.