Reflection: Jonah and the Queen of Sheba - sings of our times?
Today's reflection compliments of Nancy Doerhoff.
In today's Gospel, the "religious leaders", Scribes and Pharisees, again ask a sign from Jesus. He already had made many signs: cured the leper; the servant of the centurion; Peter’s mother-in-law; and the sick. Jesus already had calmed the storm, cast out devils, and worked many other miracles. Yet, the Pharisees claimed He is in league with Satan. While "the people" seeing all these signs recognize Jesus as the Servant of Yahweh, "the leaders" could not perceive the significance of so many signs which Jesus already had made. They wanted Jesus to give a sign for them that he would fulfill their Messianic expectations. They were not understanding all that Jesus already had done.
Jesus responds that no sign will be given to such an "evil and unfaithful generation" but the sign of Jonah the prophet in the belly of the whale for three days and nights [prefiguring His own burial and rising]. When Jonah preached to the Ninevites, they repented. Jesus declared "this generation" will be condemned by the men of Nineveh, pagans no less, on judgment day because there is something greater than Jonah here. Jesus adds "this generation" will be condemned by the pagan queen of the south who came from the ends of the earth [Sheba] to hear the wisdom of Solomon and there is something greater than Solomon here. "This generation" of Israelites, privileged to have the ministry of Jesus, supremely greater than Jonah and Solomon, are condemned for their rejection of Jesus.
Jesus gives "our generation", the greatest sign -- Himself resurrected -- the Father's confirmation of His words and actions. How important is the Resurrection in the way we understand and follow Jesus? Do we look for dramatic signs above and beyond those already given? Where is evil and unfaithfulness in our lives?
Jesus, help me see and recognize your signs of compassion and the forgiveness of God as proclaimed in the Gospels and through the People of God. Help me see and appreciate where God is already at work in the events and relationships of my life. Amen.
on Monday, July 19 at 12:00AM