Good morning, happy Monday, and many blessings.
Jesus in today’s reading -Matthew 12:38-42- invites us to recognize and believe in the love his death and resurrection is a sign of. This is, to use Saint John’s words, Jesus’ love of each of us is to the utmost extent or “to the end” or to death. “Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end” (John 13:1). Believing that Jesus loves us in such a passionate way involves a huge change of mind and heart or of the way we see and feel about Jesus, ourselves, and others.
However, the opponents are looking for divine signs from Jesus. Something as outlandish as the splendor of the queen, or the miracle of Jonah. Jesus slides away from these demands. His divine sings are the compassion and especially the forgiveness of God. He was criticized because only God could forgive sins, and he claimed to do so. For saying he was equal to God he would be killed.
It often surprises us how, even in this sophisticated world we live in, people look for external signs that apparently do away with the need of personal decisions. Life can seem so complicated that real decisions appear impossible, so that instead of looking inside us we look for signs from the outside. But Jesus insists that God only gave us one sign - Jesus himself - who was proved right by rising from the dead. I thank God for this unique sign, as I ask myself how important my faith in the risen Jesus is.
Jesus reminds his hearers of Jonah; whose preaching led the people of Nineveh to change their lives. This is basic call of Jesus too: believe in the good news that I bring and change your lives, open your hearts. I pray not to be deaf to this call, not out of fear but in trust in God who sent me his dearest son, someone greater than Jonah.
Like the scribes and the Pharisees, we would love to have a sign that would remove the need to believe and trust that God is speaking to us in and through Jesus. Yet, as elsewhere in the Gospels, Jesus has only one sign to give us – himself after the Resurrection. That is the supreme sign of the Father's confirmation of his words and of all he stands for. How important is the Resurrection in the way I understand and follow Jesus?
The Pharisees were determined not to believe in Jesus. Whatever miracles he might perform, whatever signs he might show, they had made up their minds already; they would not believe on him themselves, nor let others believe on him. It is evident that this was their state of mind from their conversation when together. You will also find people in your life that no matter how well you do, they will never create you and they will question your ministry and your sincerity. I take refuge in what my grandmother Doña Bárbara told me: my grandson, nobody throws stones at a tree that does not bear fruit.