Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Exodus 14:5-18; Matthew 12:28-32)
When I was a young man discerning a vocation to the priesthood, someone advised me to look for a sign. It sounded like a good idea, but I never found one. I entered the Dominican Order with questions that were resolved only years later. Signs are problematic. They are difficult to read and the demand for them may attest to a faulty faith.
The Pharisees and scribes want a sign from Jesus. He has already given them indications that he is God’s messenger. But they insist on a sign on demand which amounts to testing God. Jesus spurns the request. In time – he tells his inquisitors – they will have their sign, but even then they will not believe.
We should not blame others for not believing in Jesus. Full acceptance of his teaching requires the gift of faith. But we continue to believe that he is the Son of God who has won for us eternal life because of the signs that surround us. Everyday we see selfless acts of love performed by people who have committed themselves to him. We also perform such acts so that those around us may believe in Jesus as well.