Daily Reflection – 3/1/2023
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)
This had to be a moment of frustration for Jesus. 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.
We can assume safely that the Pharisees were encouraging the people to challenge Jesus. They wanted to see more signs that he was powerful and perhaps spectacular. His only sign from them would be neither. It would be a sign of defeat. He would be killed and buried in the earth for three days. He would show no sign to them except the sign of Jonah. His three days in the tomb, like Jonah’s legendary three days in the belly of the whale, has become a symbol for all times. The real sign, of course, was not his being in the tomb for three days but his emerging from it on that first Easter morning.
Wat does all this mean for you and me. This scripture passage may talk about signs but it truly is about our faith or lack thereof. Too often, when we are seeking an answer, we look for a sign. But looking for a sign says something about the depth of our faith.
Our faith tells us to put our lives in the hands of God. Our faith tells us that we need to learn to turn over our pain, problems, and fears to Him who loves us. Or faith says that when we can do that, He will be there to guide us. But so many can’t make that leap of faith.
Part of the reason for the inability to make that jump is that many people have an emotional affair with God. Many people still carry a Sunday school image of God. Many have had an experience with seeing the hand of God in their lives, but it stops there.
Our knowledge of God is found in His word. The more we learn of God, the more visible our faith will be.
The words of scripture guide us to understand that means we must step aside and let the Lord guide our lives. To gain, we must give.
When Jesus told his disciples, “If you wish to follow me, pick up your cross and follow me.” That cross is the daily spiritual battle of yielding our will to God. When our will goes against the will of God, that cross becomes very heavy. But when we yield and can say: “Not my will but Your will, Lord” then we begin to grow the roots of faith.
This Lenten period, our gaze should be on the cross. That cross is the sign of freedom. His death and resurrection were for you and me. His resurrection opened the doors of heaven for us.
Ponder that last thought. Let those words free you from looking for signs. The cross of Jesus Christ is the most profound sign we will ever have.
He dies for you and me. He rose for you and me. Take that message of faith and allow it to take priority in your life.
Prayer of The Day
“Lord, Your life, death and Resurrection is all I need to know in life. Your perfect sacrifice gives me every answer and pours forth every grace. May I always turn to You as the sign I need every day. Jesus, I trust in You”
Our technological world has conditioned us to “see first before believing”, by producing proofs and answers to many unanswered questions of the past. Unconsciously this has affected our attitude towards the sacred. We tend to demand proofs of God’s existence and religion’s relevance in our fast-changing world before believing. Let’s seek forgiveness from the Lord for if we have demanded signs from Him.