The Only Sign We Need

Luke 11: 29-32
Jon 3: 1-10/ Ps 51: 3-4. 12-13. 18-19

. . . no sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah.
(Luke 11: 29)

No other sign can immortalize
Divine love as the cross on the wall.
Reminds us of the great sacrifice
That Jesus endured to save us all.

As the crowds gathered around Him, Jesus taught them that those who ask for a sign are evil people. “No sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah. As Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be a sign for this generation. On Judgment Day 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. The people of Nineveh will also rise up on Judgment Day to accuse the people of this generation, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.” (Lk.11: 29-32)

Reflection

Jesus was saying the Queen of Sheba travelled a great distance just to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, but the Jews of Jesus’ generation did not even care to listen to Him, Whose wisdom was far greater than Solomon’s. The prophet Jonah traversed the great city of Nineveh, preaching repentance, and after only a day’s journey, the king of Nineveh and all his subjects repented of their sins without doubting Jonah (Jon.3:4-8); but here was the Son of God Himself preaching to the Jews, and still they were unrepentant and hard to teach, asking for signs as proof of Jesus’ divinity.

We have learned that those who are “renewed”, or who turn from their worldly ways because of some ‘miraculous sign’ are usually the ones who are not steadfast in their faith. It is a feeble faith that needs a regular dose of the supernatural or the fanciful (like the “dancing sun” or shower of rose petals from nowhere) to keep it burning. But a strong faith is not dependent on supernatural signs. It is sustained by acts of piety, perseverance and prayer, especially in times of crisis or the so-called “dryness of spirit”. In fact it is when God doesn’t seem to answer our prayers that our faith in Him is fortified, even without our knowledge. For almost two years we prayed fervently for our nephew, who had suffered an aneurism attack in a foreign land. He was a doctor with three very young children. It seemed such a waste that at the age of thirty-four, all his efforts and all our prayers would be in vain. When he finally succumbed to the inevitable, a deep pall of gloom descended upon the two clans of more than thirty families. And yet no one ever questioned why God had allowed it to happen. Instead, we all thanked God that despite his short sojourn in life, our nephew enriched so many lives that he had touched with his kindness.

Lord, my sacrifice is a broken spirit; a contrite heart You will not despise. (Ps.51:19) Your great pains and death on the cross serve as our inspiration in times of trials. Amen.

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