In the Gospel for today, Jesus speaks of a sign. There are many stories of signs narrated in the Bible. But two of my most favorite sign-stories in the Bible are the stories of King Ahaz and St. Joseph. These two stories are the First Reading and the Gospel for the fifth Simbang Gabi. The former tells the story of how God offered the evil King Ahaz a sign of His faithfulness – that He will defend him from His enemies, but Ahaz was too proud to accept God’s sign. Yet, God still gave him the sign despite his insolence. He gave him the sign of “Emmanuel” which means ‘God is with us.’ In St. Joseph’s story, the righteous man was visited by an angel in his dream to explain to him how Mary conceived a child and how this child is the Emmanuel – the God with us.
I love these two stories because they give a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness. God’s faithfulness is unconditional. He is faithful to the evil and impertinent Ahaz, and to the faithful and righteous Joseph. God’s faithfulness knows no limits! He is always and forever faithful!
What a great thing to ponder on! In the Gospel for today, Jesus gave no other sign to those who asked him for one but the sign of Jonah. The people did not understand that the greatest sign they were looking for was right before their eyes – Jesus, Himself – the Emmanuel.
May God grant us the grace to always recognize Him in everything and anything. May He give us the eyes of faith to see His unending faithfulness whenever we face trials and problems in life.
By: Sem. Tristan Ralf Q. Pacheco
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
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.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”