For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.” (Luke 11:30)
Have you been in a situation where you prayed that if God spares your life, you will dedicate the rest of your life to Him? If yes, my question is: “Are you still keeping your promise?” Sometimes, God blesses us with certain life-changing experiences to let us know He truly exists. We make resolutions like Naaman, who, after his healing, vowed never to serve idols again. However, the problem is that it doesn’t take long before we return to where we started.
Miracles (signs and wonders) are good but don’t sustain our faith. Miracles are like electric shocks doctors administer to revive a sick person at the point of death. These shocks can bring a person back to life but are not meant to be administered continuously. Good times remind us that God exists and that He cares for us. However, God continues to exist even in bad times. God does not cease to be good even when we experience sad moments.
The crowd asked Jesus for a sign, but Jesus called them an evil generation. Why? It is evil to put God to the test. It is evil to ask God to prove Himself. If you trust God, you will not demand for signs. Jesus said: “For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.” (Luke 11:29-30). The death and resurrection of Jesus is the ultimate miracle. If this sign does not convince you, nothing else can convince us.
The people of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, yet many who heard Jesus preach refused to repent. Can we say Jonah preached better than Jesus? No way. The problem is not Jesus but the listeners. If we decide to harden our hearts after hearing from God, then we deserve the consequences of our actions.
St. Paul in today’s first reading tells us that as Christians, we are called to be saints. Sainthood, not miracles, should be our greatest desire. On the day of judgement, many would claim they worked miracles in the name of Jesus, but they would still be sent to hell. “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’” (Matthew 7:22-23)
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, free me from superficial faith. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Romans 1:1-7, Ps. 98:1-4, Luke 11:29-32).*
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu