The Gospel according to Luke (11:29-32)
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.”
Opening Prayer: My perfect Lord, every decision You made in life was made from love and was in accord with the perfect will of the Father. Give me the grace I need to make every decision in life in imitation of Your perfect example.
Encountering Christ: Do you ever find yourself looking for signs from God? Do you ever pray and ask God for guidance? Of course, you do! We all do. Often when we go through life, navigating through the challenges we all experience, we can easily find ourselves looking for signs from God and we pray about what we should do about this or that. And though God certainly communicates to us at times through special graces that are signs from Heaven, the passage above gives clarity to what sign we must be most attentive to.
The simple message in this Gospel passage from our Lord is that we must discover the meaning of the most profound sign ever given to us and use that as the foundation of all our decisions in life. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were not only the source of eternal life, but they are also the clearest sign we need as we make all our decisions in life.
A sign is some action that reveals a deep and hidden mystery. One mystery that Jesus’ life, death and resurrection reveals is that if we are to share in the new life won for us by His Cross, then we must follow the example He set by living a life of selfless sacrifice, laying down our lives for others, so that they will discover and embrace the new life of Christ’s Resurrection. Truth is that God is NOT going to give us a sign for every issue or question we encounter. Truth is that we know the answer but it’s hard to accept the challenge that is before us and act as Jesus would. Practically speaking, if you find yourself looking for answers in life, seeking signs from God about what you should do at times, then turn your eyes to the life of Christ and ponder ways in which you can more fully imitate His life in every daily practical decision you make. This is true whether you are discerning some important decision in life or some small practical decision. It could be something as small as how you respond to someone and hurt their feelings.
It is common to engage in such a discernment by looking at ourselves in a more selfish way. It’s difficult to move away from this line of thinking, but if we are to use the “sign” of the Son of Man, then we will discern our life decisions very differently. When we use the life, death and resurrection of our Lord as the source of our discernment and decision making in life, then we will end up making decisions that imitate His selfless sacrifice of love. So, if you are faced with a decision, you will not ponder what is easier or what you prefer; rather, you will ponder what is more selfless and best for others. What is it that best imitates the sacrificial love of Jesus?
Closing Prayer: Lord, may my life imitate You as You laid down Your life for others. I choose You and Your glorious sacrificial life as the sign by which I am directed in life. Jesus, I trust in You.
Action of the Day: Reflect, today, upon any decision you are trying to make. Then reflect upon how you are going about this decision. Do you use the witness Jesus gave to us as the foundation of your discernment? Do you reflect upon how you can lay your life down as a sacrificial gift for others?