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The demand for a sign

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REFLECTION

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

No sign will be given to this generation. Jesus is exasperated by the Pharisees’ demand for a sign, and He refuses to give them one. What else do they want from Jesus, what sign are they looking for, when continually in their midst Jesus is performing so many signs already? Thus, it is not that Jesus does not, or refuses to, show them a sign, but that they fail to read the deeds of Jesus as signs that He is their longed-for Messiah. They have hardened their hearts towards Jesus; they do not open themselves to Him even as He performs liberating works. They define “sign” in their own terms and reject what does not meet their criteria.

For varied reasons, we ask God for signs. And we are often frustrated because we do not seem to receive any from God. Yet, if we are open and attentive enough, God daily sends us “signs.” These may not appear to be stupendous, but God gives us messages even in seemingly ordinary things. Our breath, our good health, our work, and our world are signs of God’s action in our lives and means by which God communicates to us.

Are we always looking for “signs” from above instead of paying attention to the already many sacraments of God’s presence and love for us?

 

SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: books@stpauls.ph; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.

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