Wanting Signs Of God’s Approval

– Monday 28th Week in Ordinary Time –

“When the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”  [Luke 11:29]

One can read books about Aboriginal culture, but there is nothing like learning it, by living it.  While I was living with Eastern Arrernte People I was amazed by their ability to read signs – the processional caterpillars that told us winter was coming and whether or not it would be a long and cold winter, the shrubs that decked themselves in yellow to tell us winter was coming to an end.  There were many signs.

Among us it is common to want signs that our decisions have God’s stamp of approval. A frequently used way is to check in our daily lives to see if God has anything to say about a particular problem or action.

If ever a crowd sought a sign, perhaps today we, in our over-stimulated lifestyle, might be the first to ask for one.  We love our access to instant news, to data, and all kinds of information.  A wise person once said “The need for constant novelty is a sign of an unsettled mind and heart.”

The crowd that was around Jesus in today’s Gospel apparently urged him for a sign. They wanted God to somehow intervene in Jesus’ commands to ensure that God approved of what Jesus said and did.

The request of the crowd can seem utterly ridiculous to us. The extraordinary goodness of Jesus and the miracles He performed should have been enough!

Yes.  Jesus could have spoken to our generation just as easily as he spoke to his own. We are so ‘busy’ that reflection and contemplation can easily be relegated to the fringes of our existence.


by Liz Wiemers sgs

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