There is a lot to unpack in the 4 sentences that make up today’s Gospel. The word verdant has stayed with me throughout my prayer, reflection and study. During my reflection there were times I could even smell rich loamy soil and picture a lush valley, the land full of an abundance of vegetation and animal life.

Gennesaret has been described in this way for centuries and into the mid-twentieth century. When Jesus and the disciples disembarked in Gennesaret, ‘people immediately recognized Him.’

The people of this valley had a rich and deep faith in God and the Torah. They had heard of the miracles that recently happened in the area. In their hearts they knew Jesus was the messiah because of their knowledge and wisdom from reading, hearing, and study of sacred Scriptures. They had faith and believed. The people brought the sick and begged that they might touch the tassel on his cloak. “Those who had touched it were healed.”

There have been times when I have prayed to the Lord for intervention during a terrible storm. I know He heard the prayers being offered and parted the storm on two separate, distinct occasions. I had been on youth trips; one to a retreat in Ohio, the other to do service. In both instances the conditions were perfect for tornados while thunderstorms were exploding all around us. The rain had begun to come in sideways. I could smell ozone in the air while seeing the sky take on a green or deep purple hue.

Our gathering place in each situation was in the direct path of a huge storm. The Saturday evening praise and worship was interrupted and all gathered under the big tent were able to safely evacuate to the residence halls down the hill. Through the night the storm raged. In the morning we saw the winds had tossed a few chairs and some equipment but we were all thankful and rejoicing that God is good, all the time.

The morning after the second storm we listened to the radio while driving to our site across town. The weather anchors in St. Louis were surprised that a storm of such size actually split in half. It brought clear skies with much lower temperatures to the region and the service groups completed their work in seventy degree weather instead of the forecasted low hundreds for which we had planned. 

I know what I experienced. I listened to the words of others who were witnesses. I have faith in the Lord, His works, His Son, the Holy Spirit, Sacred Scripture and the Catholic Church. I believe that miracles happened then and now. What about you?

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Beth Price is part of the customer care team at Diocesan. She is a Secular Franciscan (OFS) and a practicing spiritual director. Beth shares smiles, prayers, laughter, a listening ear and her heart with all of creation. Reach her here

Feature Image Credit: Guillermo,