Wednesday of the First Week in Lent
(Jonah 3:1-10; Luke 11:29-32)
Enter into almost any doctor’s office, and you will be asked for a sign. The attendant will want to see your insurance card guaranteeing the doctor will be paid. You can tell the person that you have plenty of money to cover the doctor’s fee, but he will not believe you. In today’s gospel Jesus chastises the people for a similar lack of faith.
The people want Jesus to produce miracles on demand before they believe in him. Jesus is telling them that this is not God’s way. He says that just as the Ninevites believed Jonah’s prophecy that God was ready to destroy them, Jews should believe his message. Of course, Jesus wants them to reform for a very different reason. Rather than touting God’s wrath, Jesus is saying that God is at hand dispensing mercy.
It is hard for many of us to trust. Perhaps we have been abused by someone we once loved. But, as Jesus indicates, there is plenty of reason to do so. We have life and likely more than enough to eat. We probably have had at least one parent who would have died for us and friends who are willing to help meet our needs. These are all signs of a sort indicating God’s presence. But some still hold out saying that they require miracles on demand before they will believe.