Monday, 28th Week in Ordinary Time
“This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.”
The people who surrounded Jesus were enthralled with miraculous healings. Perhaps we can say that they got fixated to ‘miraculous’ signs that they overlooked Jesus’ greater sign calling for conversion. In this passage, Jesus is irritated that the people of his time only wanted quick fixes and instant healing. They did not want to hear about the slow process of changing hearts. So, Jesus said that they would only receive the “sign of Jonah” – which is the sign of repentance, conversion, renewal.
Do we realize that we could also be like those people who eagerly sought ‘signs’? We want our life to go well and to not have any glitches or difficulties. So, we also seek signs…We seek ‘miracles’…We seek quick fixes! That is why we need to constantly ask ourselves these and many other similar questions: Do I pray more intently and eagerly for my life to be problem-free than I do to find God right there in my problems? Do I ask God more often to be successful in my career or profession than I do to be faithful to his will, no matter what? Do I put more energy into praying for material and financial blessings than I do to be mindful of living each moment with gratitude? Do I look more keenly for extra-ordinary signs of God’s power than I do to discover the ordinary signs of his love? Do I still expect God to magically cure my ills and heal my sick body instead of trusting God to help me enter into those struggles so I can grow and change as I experience them?
Let us respond to the call to repentance and conversion. Because unless we do this, no amount of ‘signs’ or miracles can help us really believe in God’ power. But if we have a humble and contrite heart we do not even need any sign or miracle. Jesus challenges us to open ourselves, for he is right here in our midst, asking us to pay attention to his presence.
Let us end with a prayer: Lord God, grant us a new vision and open our eyes that we may see the signs of your generosity and goodness, the manifestations of your abiding presence, and the reminders of your call to repentance. Lead us to a deep experience of genuine conversion that we may be able to discern and recognize the signs of your loving presence. Amen.