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)
As a child, I loved magic. I would save up nickels so I could go to a joke store which sold magic tricks. Once I mastered the trick, I would excitedly show my family my “magic.” And nothing pleased me more than to go to a fair or a carnival and watch the magician “prove” that he was especially gifted.
The Gospel today reminds us of our need to live by faith and not to depend on signs and tricks and wonders. The crowd demanded a sign from Jesus before they would believe in him. They wanted God, at Jesus’ behest, to intervene somehow, to assure them that God approves of Jesus’ words and works. He tells them no sign will be given them except the sign of Jonah. He is referring to the fact that Jonah was three days in the belly of a great fish. So, Jesus would e spend three days in the earth after his death, but on the third day rise.
Not much has changed through the years. Too often, we demand signs from God. We ask for miracles or we barter our faith with God. These demands for sign and miracles should not become THE criteria for proving God’s Existence or even His Presence. These demands for some external manifestations and wonders should not become THE yardstick for proving the might and power of God. We should not be holding God at ransom, by demanding signs.
We should not be hijacking God and demanding miracles to continue our beliefs.
Jesus preaches to us today through the gospel and through the Church. We have a greater than Jonah among us. We today have Jesus Christ who with his words and works God approved when he raised him from the dead. We have a greater than Jonah among us today.
What is a better way to strengthen and build our faith? It begins with prayer – prayer throughout the day. A prayer does not have to be a soliloquy. It can be no more than three or four words: Thank you Jesus. I love you Jesus. Prayer is our daily link to God. It enforces our faith. It strengthens our belief. It puts us into a conversational mode with God. Wow!
We strengthen our prayer with the bible. Scripture reminds us of what our faith is about. Scripture speaks to us – sometimes in the very words of Jesus Christ – and enforces our beliefs. Scripture is the word of God. Wow!
As we pray, as we study the word of God, we also need to let His presence in our life refresh us. We rather need to look back into our lives, and see the various moments and the times when He has caressed us with His affection. When He has nurtured us with His love. When He has healed our wounds by giving us strength. When He has filled us with His presence.
We don’t need to become a people which poses God with “prove that” type questions! Let us see. Let us realize. and Let us thank.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, give me your wisdom and increase my love for your ways. Help me to resist temptation and all willfulness that I may wholly desire to do what is pleasing to you.”
The sign to Jesus’ generation that proved His message was the fact that although crucified and put to death, He rose again conquering sin and its consequences forever. Truly, as Jesus said, He is the resurrection and the life, therefore whoever believes in Him will never die.
The resurrection of Jesus is our sign of who Jesus is and that His message is true. The resurrection of Jesus validates everything He said about Himself and the work of redemption accomplished at Calvary.