REFLECTION FOR TODAY
October 11, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation.” Lk. 11:29-30
Sometimes we find ourselves looking for signs from God. When life challenges become unbearable, we tend to appeal for signs from God about what is or what is not. Even when God communicates to us at times through special graces that are signs from Heaven, we still do not see the hand of God in them.
Jesus rebuked the people for seeking a sign. But would it not have been easy for Jesus to give the people a sign? Well, he could have performed a sign to display his divinity and silence his opposition, but he chose to rebuke them in those hash words in our gospel reference today.
If only the people had seen Jesus with the eyes of faith, they would have known the joy of witnessing the very sign they wanted. The sign of Jonah was none other than Jesus himself. So, what Jesus is saying here is that we must discover the meaning of the most profound sign ever given and use that as the foundation of all our decisions in life. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection were not only the source of eternal life, but they are also the clearest sign we need as we make all our decisions in life.
A sign is some action that reveals a deep and hidden mystery. One mystery that Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection reveals is that if we are to share in the new life won for us by His Cross, then we must follow the example He set by living a life of selfless sacrifice, laying down our lives for others, so that we will discover and embrace the new life of Christ’s Resurrection.
Practically speaking, if you find yourself looking for answers in life, seeking signs from God about what you should do at times, then turn your eyes to the life of Christ and ponder ways in which you can more fully imitate His life in every daily practical decision you make. This is true whether you are discerning some important decision in life or some small practical decision.
It is common to engage in such a discernment by looking at ourselves in a more selfish way. It’s difficult to move away from this line of thinking, but if we are to use the “sign” of the Son of Man, then we will discern our life decisions very differently. When we use the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord as the source of our discernment and decision making in life, then we will end up making decisions that imitate His selfless sacrifice of love. So if you are faced with a decision, you will not ponder what is easier or what you prefer; rather, you will ponder what is more selfless and best for others. What is it that best imitates the sacrificial love of Jesus?
Reflect, today, upon any decision you are trying to make. Then reflect upon how you are going about this decision. Do you use the witness Jesus gave to us as the foundation of your discernment? Do you reflect upon how you can lay your life down as a sacrificial gift for others? Do you look at love from the point of view of the Cross of our Lord and strive to imitate His glorious and selfless dedication to the salvation of those whom He loves? Seek to imitate our Lord, using the witness of His actions as the foundation of all your discernment and decisions in life, and you will have discovered the only true sign you need to navigate the challenges of life.
Lord, every decision You made in life was made from love and was in accord with the perfect will of the Father. Give me the grace I need to make every decision in life in imitation of Your perfect example. May my life imitate You as You laid down Your life for others. I choose You and Your glorious sacrificial life as the sign by which I am directed in life. Jesus, I trust in You.