Monday, February 17, 2014

Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time

(James 1:12-18; Mark 8:14-21)

Jesus’ statement in the gospel that no sign will be given to the people of his generation sounds odd.  He has already worked many marvelous deeds in Mark’s story, which John’s gospel name as “signs.”  What Jesus may be saying is that nothing will be done that the Pharisees will recognize as signs.  This is so because the Pharisees brashly demand a special demonstration of divine authority as if they were immigration officers checking travel documents.  But it is God’s prerogative, not man’s, to seek verification of another’s authenticity.

People today also challenge God to work a wonder so that they might believe.  They confess that they no longer believe because God took their child or because God did not come to assist them in need.  It seems that they also forget who is who.  God has the sovereign right to demand faith from human beings or at least openness to belief.  He does not take orders from human beings although He wants subjects to come to Him plaintively and confidently as a child might approach her father with the request for lunch money.

We should not hesitate to go to God with our needs, even the small ones.  But let our request for help always be framed on one side by the willingness to accept His will and on the other by the assurance that He will never abandon us.