Reading: Then some of the Pharisees and teachers of the law said to him, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from you.” Matthew 12:38.
Good morning, happy Monday, and many blessings my dear family.
In today’s Gospel (Matthew 12:38-42) the Pharisees and scribes come to Jesus and say: “We want to see a sign from you!” However, Jesus refuses to give them a sign. He tells them that it is “an evil and unfaithful generation” that needs a “sign” in order to believe. He then says: “No sign except the sign of Jonah will be given!”
Jesus in today’s reading 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. Talk to Jesus about this passionate love He has for you and about your desire to accept or to believe in it.
I wonder, how often do we ask Jesus for a sign of His love and presence? Do we believe and trust in Jesus only when we receive a sign? If we receive “a sign”, how do we know the sign is from Jesus? I wonder if Jesus gets as aggravated with us as he did with the scribes and the Pharisees? They wanted Jesus to prove himself. Do we also need proof to believe and trust that Jesus is who he says he is? Do we need proof to believe that Jesus is with us?
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 is my faith in the risen Jesus.
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.
Today I invite you to ask yourself: Who is Jesus to me? How deep is my belief and trust in Jesus? Do I wish to strengthen my relationship with Jesus? Can I strengthen my relationship with Jesus by creating healthy relationships with other people? Who are those people I don't want to associate with? Am I aware that I only meet Jesus through the people with whom I relate? How do we let Jesus know that we desire a deeper and more personal relationship with him when we are aware that we hate and despise other people?