The Gospel today leads us into the scene wherein some teachers of the law and some Pharisees dared to ask the Lord to show them a sign; a gesture that demands a bargain in exchange for their belief.
This gesture is no stranger to me, after my college seminary formation, I was told to work first as a consequence of my father’s untimely demise months before our graduation. Complaining and questioning God’s ways, gradually, my heart went cold towards Him. I still do my Christian Prayers as well as adoration, but I cannot deny the fact that my heart keeps resentments towards Him. When I was working, I would always demand a sign for things I am uncertain of. As I was discerning what to do with my life, and my vocation, I would always ask like the Pharisees a sign not because I do not believe him, but because I just wanted to be embraced back into his loving arms. I have asked for numerous favors and signs from him, especially when I was on the verge of my decision whether to resign from my work or go back to my first love — seminary formation. At this point, it felt as if I am being chased by what Francis Thompson calls “the hound of heaven,” as granted prayers come one after another, and so on. I was overwhelmed by the thought of his graces, but what moved me profoundly was the realization that the signs are not merely those answered prayers, but the ordinary days which are filled with extraordinary graces. The people who are asking for signs from the Lord are not given, because the Lord is already the “Sign”. The challenge for me is to recognize the signs scattered in the ordinary, by the God of the Ordinary.
By: Sem. Jeffrey Barcoma
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.”