Seeking a sign
The Pharisees and Sadducces came and, to test him, asked him to show them a sign from heaven. He said to them in reply, “In the evening you say, ‘Tomorrow will be fair, for the sky is red’; and, in the morning, ‘Today will be stormy, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to judge the appearance of the sky, but you cannot judge the signs of the times. An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah.” Then he left them and went away.
-Matthew 16: 1-4
2000 years later, it’s easy to see that the Sadducces and Pharisees are being ridiculous. They come to Jesus, seeking a sign, ignoring the reality in front of them. Jesus has been performing miracles before their very eyes, and yet they approach him seeking a sign as if everything he’s done until now doesn’t count.
The Sadducces and Pharisees did not sin in asking for more. Jesus is pretty explicit that he desires for us to have life in abundance (John10:10) and that he desires for us to ask and to receive (Luke11). He even went so far as to give us everything, literally all of himself. So, Jesus wants us to ask for more; their folly was in their failure to recognize that they were in fact already provided abundant heavenly signs.
I too can be ridiculous. I am awash in the flood of God’s grace: a holy, beautiful, loving wife, a healthy baby on the way, a job that I love, life giving family and friendships, and a calling to use my gifts and talents to build the Kingdom. Even without all these, there is still the relentless miracle that is my life, the very breath in my lungs, the reality that the God of the universe loves and knows me, and coffee. And yet, I find myself asking Jesus for more signs: “Jesus, just show me that you love me!”
As if all he has already done is not enough. I live in the fullness of Jesus’ love. I have been adopted into God’s family through Baptism. I have Confirmed my baptismal faith in Jesus and his Church. I have received the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus in the Eucharist. I have been given the reconciliation of his mercy and forgiveness, and in the Sacrament of my marriage I live out a foreshadowing of heavenly communion. I am fully blessed. All that remains is for me to recognize Jesus in the signs he has already given.
O Jesus, show me your face today. Look on me with love that I may be able to recognize you in all of your signs and works. Expand my heart that I might receive more and more of you. Amen.