February 13th, 2023

The Gospel according to Mark (8:11-13)

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.

Reflection: We are always looking for signs. What signs do we look for today? Peace among nations? An end to poverty, injustice, oppression? A stop to the destruction of the planet? A Church reformed and revitalized? Then surely, we could practice our faith better. Oh yes, occasional miracles would also help which do happen.

In today’s Gospel, Jesus knows that a sign will last only so long for them. So, he leaves them and goes to ‘the other side’ to the Gentiles. That was the sign they got! Their arguments showed up Jesus as the One for all the people, not just his own. 

Searching through the Bible, God uses signs to direct us. Here are some common ways we could accept signs from God and please note that there are many more examples.

Use of Nature: Time and time again we see God using nature as a way to communicate with his people. I’ve heard of people receiving signs from God through clouds, trees, and even animals. This may sound a bit silly if you haven’t experienced it yourself. As you know, I am in the Sierras a lot and I have experienced signs of all sorts many times.

Sends a Messenger: Another common sign that God sends is via a messenger. Especially in the Old Testament, God sends messages to His people through prophets. I’m sure you’ve experienced this. Maybe you’re sitting at church listening to the homily and the Pastor/Deacon says something that deeply resonates with you. And you feel like the sermon was written for you. Or perhaps a friend or family member gives you an answer to a problem you’ve been praying about. It’s possible that God sent someone to tell you exactly what you needed to hear. 

Dreams: In the Bible, we see God using dreams to predict the future or give a warning to his people. I believe that God still uses dreams to communicate to His people today, but I also believe that every dream/vision must be backed up by the Bible or by asking Him in prayer if it’s legitimate.

Word of God: Most importantly, God provides signs using His Word. We must ask ourselves “Does the Bible confirm this sign?” Is what you think you should do; actually, what God wants you to do? One of the ways God communicates to His people is by His Word. There are many other examples of how God sends a sign in the Bible (angels, visions etc.). 

There are many other examples of how you can receive signs. If you see a sign, and you’re not sure, ask God if that’s Him. Are you seeing a sign from God today? Have missed some obvious signs today? Perhaps you want to go in a particular direction, and you want to make sure. During your prayer time, ask God for clarity, dive into His word and trust in His promise to give you wisdom.

Action of the Day: While in prayer mode; ask God for signs of what you should commit to do in this upcoming Lent. Are you going to “give up” something? Are you going to fast? Are you committing to do something? Are you going to volunteer somewhere or help someone? 

Audio Reflection:

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