From a Creighton Student's Perspective
October 13th, 2008
Sophomore, Communication and Business, still deciding
“Seeing is believing,” or so the adage goes.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus addresses the crowds on the topic of signs, those seemingly mandatory prerequisites to belief. It seems only natural that we humans demand signs so that we may be assured and have faith, as we ask for them in everyday life: signatures in contracts as a sign for a legitimate business deal, verbal commitments to friends for planned events, et cetera.
The Jews of Jesus’ time were no different from us: they realized that Jesus’ actions and words were of deep substance, but they wanted some extraordinary sign to give them full assurance that they weren’t being duped. Jesus didn’t leave them wanting, either. He subtly tells the crowds that He Himself is the Sign. Just as Jonah was the sign to the Ninevites and Solomon was a promise of wisdom to the Queen of Sheba, Jesus Himself is the greatest sign, promise, and hope that the Jews could have asked for themselves (as Our Lord says, “there is something greater than Jonah…than Solomon here”). He was the opportunity for them to see and then to believe.
For us today, Jesus remains the same: the ultimate sign. How often do we find ourselves doubting our faith because of the evil which surrounds us? I know that I struggle with temptation to ask God for a “sign.” Among the myriads of other requirements, I want it to be spectacular, unambiguous, and compelling so that I may know that God does indeed love me and is leading me along His paths. When I encounter this, I always try to remind myself that not only is His participation in our Humanity the greatest sign thinkable, His death on the cross was the greatest action of love conceivable! If I find it hard to see Him as the sign and promise just in His teachings, I know I will not fail to recognize Him in his passion, death, resurrection, and ascension. The Paschal Mystery offers a greater sign of the truth of God’s love and commitment for me (and all of us) than anything I could ever imagine.
Because of this, St. Paul has the opportunity to speak on the topic of freedom to the Galatians as he does today in our first reading. I, as a Christian, have the opportunity to break free from the slavery of sin because salvation is made possible for me and all of us by Jesus’ spectacular, unambiguous, and compelling sign, a sign anticipated since the time of Abraham.
As I struggle every day with just an everyday life, I take pains
to remind myself that, if I root myself in the sign that Our Lord
provides for us in both Himself and in His actions, I need have
no doubt to his presence and guidance in my life, no doubt that
He has already responded to my demand for a sign: all I have to
do is believe.
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