The Miracle | Seeds of Hope 2022

The Miracle | Seeds of Hope 2022

John 10:27-38

If I do not perform my Father’s works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.”

Today is the Feast Day of St. Julie Billiart, the foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. She experienced a profound miracle in her life. She was born in 1751 and died 64 years later. She was joyful, prayerful, and full of wisdom even though her legs were paralyzed for much of her life.

At a very young age, Julie learned to love God and showed that love through her devotion to the Lord. By 16 years old, she was helping her family by working as a teacher. She was described as “a woman overflowing with energy” as she worked to fulfill her spiritual calling.

One day at her home, while speaking with her father, a large rock was thrown through the window and a gunshot fired. Although neither she nor her father were physically wounded, the event was such a shock to Julie’s overworked system, she was confined to her bed and became seriously ill. The treatment for this at the time was blood-letting through the feet. This process was performed so many times, Julie’s legs became paralyzed.

In her pain, she grew stronger in her love for God.

One day, she had a vision and saw Jesus crucified with a large group of religious women surrounding him. They were wearing a habit that she did not recognize. An inner voice told her that these were to be the women of the congregation she would start. It would be dedicated to serving the needs, and the Christian instruction, of poor girls.

While her legs were still paralyzed, she started her congregation and retook her vows along with two others. Her legs had been paralyzed for decades when a priest friend secretly began a novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus praying for the recovery of her ability to walk.

On the fifth day of the prayer, the priest, Fr. Enfantin visited Julie. While they were together, the congregational records describe what he said to her: “‘If you have faith, Mother, take a step in honor of the Heart of Jesus.’ Julie rose and took a step, something she had not done for twenty-two years. ‘Take another,’ he said. ‘Another.’ Then, ‘That will do; you may sit down now.’ Julie took her seat, though she assured Father that she was able to walk even further.”

Can you imagine that moment? Her ability to walk returned. For the remainder of her life, 12 years, Mother Julie was on the move doing the work of organizing and inspiring her congregation. Today, the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur are in five continents and 20 countries.

St. Julie’s story is an example of what Jesus is talking about in our scripture passage today. The Jews Jesus is addressing don’t believe in him. Jesus says, “OK, don’t believe in me, but believe in the works that the Father is doing through me. Can you at least believe in that? Come on, the blind see, the lame walk, what more do you want?”

But they won’t have it. They focus on him claiming out to be the Son of God. They want to kill him right then and there. St. Julie lost the ability to walk, and she loved God even more. How about you? Is your heart touched by Jesus? If not, will any amount of miracles sway you?

Holy Week will soon start. This is a time to be drawn closer to Jesus. Like St. Julie, you’re never too old to learn to walk again with the Lord.

Now let’s take 30 seconds to water the seed…

What hardship draws you closer to God?

Watering the Seed

What do you know about the kingdom Jesus is talking about?

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