Sunday, February 14, 2021

It is a question of trust. To trust or not to trust.

"The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him [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.” (Mark 8: 11 - 12).

Monday 15th February 2021, in the 6th Week in Ordinary Time. Ordinary Time ends on Tuesday and we enter the holy Season of Lent on Ash Wednesday, February 17th.

The Pharisees touched the nerves of Jesus in our key Scripture for today. How will you feel if your teenage children confront you one day and ask: "When at last will you give us a birthday?" You will be angry because you have been planning and executing beautiful birthday parties every year for sixteen years.

In asking Jesus for a sign, the Pharisees committed the grave sin of the Israelites in the Desert. They witnessed the historic miracle of the Red Sea. They were fed daily with meat and sweet bread. Yet they rose in rebellion against God threatening to march back to Egypt.
God was angry with them. Who would not?

The Pharisees were part of the educated class and knew the Scriptures and the signs Isaiah laid out for recognizing the Messiah: He will open the eyes of the blind and ears of the deaf. He will perform numerous miracles and will teach the people the knowledge of the Lord.  He cast out many demons.  Why then did they provoke Him by asking for a sign? Hardness of heart and pride.

It would appear from the Bible Timeline that the one Sin that offends God deeply is the Sin of Unbelief. Unbelief rolls a number of grave sins into one: ingratitude, ignorance of God and His ways, willful blindness, gross unreasonableness and others.

I do ask the Lord for signs from time to time and He has been gracious in opening my eyes to see the signs that are there all along. I have asked: "Lord are You with me in this project?" The sign the Lord usually gives me is the Sign of the Emmanuel. "I am with you always." Think of it. This is the greatest Sign in Sacred Scripture. Why? All the great Bible characters received this Sign.  If God is with you, then the mission is accomplished. If God is with you, then No fear, No worry, No doubt. All you need is trust.

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