Human beings have the tendency of seeking for signs. Before a decision is made, one would first look for the right sign. When I was still working and thinking about the vocation to the priesthood, I also asked for signs. And I did recognize several signs – both affirmative and contrary to my own liking. We Filipinos have this popular saying when we want to believe in something or not: “Kapag gusto, may paraan; kung ayaw, maraming dahilan.” (When desired, we find ways; when unwilling, excuses abound.) Signs are always present in our midst. The Gospel’s challenge however is how deep our faith in God is regardless of the presence of signs.
If we have faith in God, other signs are not needed except the sign given by Christ. It is Jesus who is The Sign – the visible sign of God our Father Who is in heaven. Sometimes, when we desperately need something, we often ask God for signs. And we do not realize that the signs we ask constrain God into doing something that we want. We tend to control God. We forget that it is God who is in control of our life.
The saddest stories I had encountered in the seminary were from those whom I knew wanted to be priests someday yet they demanded signs from God. They failed to respond to the vocation because they were busy waiting or seeking for the right sign. They looked for The Sign in other places but not inside their hearts. Late had they known that the ultimate sign was already given but they were not able to recognize it in their lives since they had been too preoccupied by wrong and unnecessary signs.
Jesus passed by, but the Scribes and Pharisees did not recognize Him as The Sign. Jesus is passing by in our midst every day of our life, but do we recognize Him as the ultimate Sign of our loving and merciful Father? Do we recognize Jesus in the most basic sign that we have now in our world – the Eucharist? Look at Jesus in the Eucharist. Look at the crucified Lord at the altar of sacrifice. Look at Him, present in the heart of our Christian brothers and sisters in faith.
By: Sem. Keith R. Buenaventura
Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
He said to them in reply,
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here.”