We live in a generation of immediate gratification. Technology has progressed so far that our expectations have increased while the time for satisfaction has decreased. Take movies as an example. 40 years ago, the only way to watch a movie was in the theatre. You had to go several times if you wanted to view it again - Star Wars comes to mind as a great example for me. Fast forward to the 80's and we had the ability to rent or purchase our own copies of movies with VHS tapes. The 90's saw DVD's come out and all of a sudden you were able to get higher quality and longer lasting copies of your favorite flicks. Enter the Internet age and the late 90's and early 2000's and you saw the movie rental industry take off, specifically, Netflix, Hulu, Apple or Amazon Prime. Now, not only could you rent a movie with the push of a button but you could purchase and download to your digital library. You could also stream thousands upon thousands of shows and movies. What once was an ordeal of time, travel to see a movie, now has become almost instantaneous.
Now let's break open todays word, taken from Luke 11:29-32. Jesus is talking and crowd of people gather and they ask him for a miraculous sign:
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,Jesus is telling the crowd that God didn't provide a sign to the Ninevites. They basically had the prophet Jonah tell them that they had 40 days left before God would destroy them. That was sign enough. They changed their ways and were spared by the Lord.
“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.”
Throughout the New Testament, people have been requesting signs of Jesus. We see this in Matt 12:38 and Mark 8:11. In Mark 8, we see the Pharisees requesting a sign and Jesus said - no sign is coming. In Matt 12:39-45, we see the same words as above.
What was Jesus trying to say? How would we react if Jesus appeared today? Would we require fireworks and armies of angels as proof.
Jesus went on to say that the Queen of Sheba (Queen of the South) responded to Solomon, as the Ninevites responded to Jonah. Why then should we not respond to the teachings of Jesus Christ, who is much greater than Solomon or Jonah? No sign is required. if we simply live the teachings of Jesus as he teaches us in the New Testament, we cannot go wrong.
Now let's remember and reflect on those candidates and catechumens who are making their journey of faith without having signs or proof. It is time to use our journey of forty days to reflect on how we can make ourselves better disciples of Christ. The path leads us to the cross, the tomb and ultimately the resurrection and promise of everlasting life.
What more signs do you require?