Daily Reflection – 10/14/19
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”( Luke 11: 29-32)
We all know the saying, “familiarity breeds contempt.” In today’s Gospel, Jesus contemporaries were in that situation regarding Jesus himself. He had already worked miracles, and his preaching and holiness of life were totally exceptional. Yet, some people were not satisfied, and Jesus rebukes them for seeking more signs.
It’s all too easy for us to fall into this same attitude with our faith. Instead of appreciating the riches conserved in the tradition of the Church, many still look for extraordinary signs. The Beatitudes, or the Gospel accounts of Jesus raising people from the dead might seem boring, but private revelations and possible apparitions capture our imagination.
Despite his harsh tone in the Gospel, Jesus actually does promise to give them a sign “the sign of Jonah.” By this he means his death and resurrection, as he explains in the Gospel according to Matthew (12:40).
Why do we lack faith in God? Because most people settle with having an emotional affair with God. They love God just because they can feel Him. But that’s not a good enough reason to love anyone, especially God. If someone gets married based purely on emotions (or due to an emotional affair), then chances are you’ll get divorced squarely on cold facts.
Faith is not an “emotional affair” with God. Faith is based on cold facts. When Jesus told his disciples, “If you wish to follow me, pick up your cross and follow me.” That means, “If you remain faithful to me, then you will suffer greatly.” That’s faith! And that’s the hard cold fact of our faith. I can accept it or reject it. If I stay close to God (keep their morals, values and dignity), I will go through Hell. But in the end, I will be rehabilitated and resurrected. God will love me forever.
Jesus says to his listeners that they will be judged because they are not appreciating the gift they have before their eyes. It’s an invitation for us not only to appreciate all that we have received in the Church, but also to share it with others. The truths of our faith are not intended for us alone but for all humanity. Whether or not that message gets out depends on each one of us. What are we doing to share our faith with those around us?
Prayer of The Day
Lord Jesus, help me to appreciate the great gifts you’ve given me in the in sacred Scripture, the sacraments, the testimony of the holy lives of so many saints and in my own life through the work of your grace in my soul. Help me to share these gifts with the people I encounter by living what I profess and by having the courage to speak about my faith.
Faith is the leap into the water, now with the lived experience that there is One who can and will catch you—and lead you where you need to go! Religion, in some sense, is a necessary first half of life phenomenon. Faith is much more possible in the second half of life, not necessarily chronologically but always spiritually. As the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard wisely said, “Life must be lived forward, but it can only be understood backward.”