MICAH 6: 1 – 4, 6 – 8
Hear what the Lord says: Arise, plead your case before the mountains, and let the hills hear your voice. Hear, you mountains, the controversy of the Lord, and you enduring foundations of the earth; for the Lord has a controversy with his people, and he will contend with Israel. “O my people, what have I done to you? In what have I wearied you? Answer me! For I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and redeemed you from the house of bondage; and I sent before you Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?” He has showed you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.
The Word of the Lord
Psalm 50: 5 – 6, 8 – 9, 16bc – 17, 21, 23 (R.) 23bc
R/. To one whose way is blameless, I will show the salvation of God.
“Gather my holy ones to me,
Who made covenant with me by sacrifice.”
The heavens proclaim his justice,
For he, God, is the judge.” R/.
“I do not rebuke you for your sacrifices;
Your offerings are always before me.
I do not take more bullocks from your farms,
Nor goats from among your herds.” R/.
“How can you recite my commandments,
And take my covenant on your lips,
You who despise correction,
And cast my words behind you?” R/.
“You do this, and should I keep silence?
Do you think that I am like you?
I accuse you, lay the charge before you.
A sacrifice of praise gives me honour,
And to one whose way is blameless,
I will show the salvation of God.” R/.
Psalm 95: 7d, 8a
Today, harden not your hearts, but listen to the voice of the Lord.
“The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with this generation.”
MATTHEW 12: 38 – 42
At that time: Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days’ and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here. The queen of the South will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the Wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.”
The Gospel of the Lord
REFLECTION: Seeking a Sign
July 18, 2022
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” (Matthew 12:38-39)
Jonah was the sign. He spent three days and nights in the belly of a whale. He certainly was presumed dead by those who threw him over the side of the boat. But the whale acted as an instrument of God’s will in that it brought Jonah to Nineveh to preach repentance. And they did repent and change their lives! The darkness of the belly of the whale, in the end, became a blessing and a sign for ages to come.
Fast forward from the story of Jonah to the story above when the followers of Jesus seek a sign from Him. They want some sort of “proof” of who He is. Or perhaps they are just curious and want to be “entertained” by a miracle. Whatever the case may be, Jesus makes it clear that the sign He will give is the sign of Jonah.
Clearly, the story of Jonah is a prefiguration of the death of Jesus, His three days in the tomb and His Resurrection. This is the sign that Jesus will offer and the sign that He continues to offer. It’s a sign of great hope when we perceive it properly.
However, very often we can fall into the same temptation as the followers of Jesus in the story above. Very often we also want a sign other than the signs Jesus gave us. We want some other proof from God of His will. We want Him to speak loudly and clearly. But that doesn’t always happen. More often what we experience is what appears to be silence from God. We may wonder, “Lord, where are You? Why don’t You speak to me?” But Jesus will speak to us in the same way. He will gently remind us of His life, death and Resurrection. He will remind us that we must believe in all that He has spoken, and even if we feel like we are in the belly of a whale or dead in a tomb, hope is not lost. God is present in all things and He is active and present to us even when He seems to be silent.
Reflect, today, upon how strong your faith is even though you may not get the sign from Heaven that you may want. You must be reminded that the Father spoke to you clearly through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus and this is the way He continues to speak to you today. Listen to that lesson and embrace the truths it proclaims. Even if you feel like you are in a tomb or God is silent, know He is not. He is speaking to you all the time. You just need to discern His voice.
Lord of holy silence, help me to believe in You even though I do not see miracles or signs from Heaven. Help me to believe in You despite any doubts or weaknesses I have in life. Give me a firm faith to answer Your call in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.