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.”
Reflection: The “sign of Jonah” refers to Jesus’ Crucifixion, death, three days in the tomb and Resurrection. Jonah was three days in the belly of the whale. Jesus was telling them that He would be three days in the tomb. But the key is that Jesus’ death and Resurrection IS the sign that will be given.
I, like many of you are always looking for signs from Heaven. Do you ever wish that God would give you a sign from Heaven as a way of giving you some definitive guidance or direction in life? I have heard from many of you regarding your sign or signs (if you’re lucky) that changed your life. I for one can tell you that I was given a definitive sign and that is why I became a Deacon.
Allow me to tell you about this sign. As you know, Connie and I just returned from our Marian Pilgrimage. Let me tell you that I had my radar on full power looking for any type of sign. I had many small but beautiful and memorable signs that I call blessings. Here’s one of them: When we were at Fatima; Connie, my buddy Byron and myself were enjoying ourselves at the dinner table. Then another pilgrim came up and asked if she can sit with us? “Of course,” I replied. So, a conversation ensued, and she began to tell us that she and some others visited the homes of Lucia Dos Santos and her cousins Francisco and Jacinta Marto (The three children that witnessed the apparitions of Our Blessed Mother). As we were talking, she gave us more details and said it was a close taxi ride. So, Connie said “LETS GO”! Now bear in mind that it’s about 7:30pm and we also wanted to attend the “Night Prayer and Procession” at Fatima which was at 9:00pm. By the time the taxi arrived (by the way, it was the only taxi in the city of Fatima) we had less than an hour to see the sites. We told the driver what we wanted to see and that we had little time because of the procession at 9:00. Needless to say, he understood and drove so fast thru these small cobblestone streets to get us there. The taxi driver spoke very little English, but he used the words with vigor; “Come, Come, Come” which meant to follow him in these pitch dark trails where their homes were. I told Byron that we were either going to get “mugged” or we are going to see some “cool” stuff. Gratefully, he not only took us to their homes, but also took us to other areas where there were other signs including the spot where the 4th apparition occurred (I have attached some photos below).
Days later, I was reflecting on those words from the taxi driver: Aren’t those the same words that Jesus said to His Apostles, His people, and US?! “Come and Follow Me” to guide His people. As I had mentioned earlier that those are the very words, He spoke to me in regards to entering the diaconate formation. One other thing, when Byron asked the driver his name, he said his name was John Paul II. Was he joking or was it true? We don’t know but was this another sign?
If God were to give us some clear sign in life revealing His will, we should take it as a gift and be grateful for it. But receiving a sign from God is different than seeking a sign from God. In the passage above, Jesus strongly condemns those coming and seeking signs. Why is this the case? Maybe it’s because He wants us to seek Him through our own gift of faith. The truths of our faith, which we commemorate and re-live every day, are not intended just for us but for all humanity. Whether or not that “sign” or “message” gets out depends on each one of us.
Action of the Day: Reflect upon the greatest “sign” God has ever given. It is there that every question can be answered, and every grace is given. We need nothing more than this.