11 October 2010
Today’s Readings: Gal 4,22-24.26ff.31/ Lk 11,29-32
Those people among the Jews who were intent on strict observance of their laws refused to listen to Jesus and criticized his behavior. They believed Jesus was too liberal and even rebellious toward their traditional teachings and conduct. If Jesus would be different, he had to back up his words with some unmistakable sign from heaven – a miracle.
Jesus did not feel the need to prove anything to those who were unwilling to accept his words. All he did was remind them of a story from their sacred book – the story of Jonah, the unwilling prophet.
When God called Jonah to preach repentance to the Ninivites (non-Jews known for their cruelty), lest they be destroyed, he hesitated to go because he believed that the Ninivites were so hardened that they would never repent. Nevertheless, Jonah begrudgingly went to preach repentance to the Ninivites who, to his surprise, repented of their evil doings and converted to God. And the wonderful thing was that Jonah did not have to give miraculous signs that he was from God and sent to them by God. The Ninivites took him at his word and believed.
Jesus’ message was that if the Ninivites who were outsiders in Faith responded to Jonah’s call for repentance without demanding any sign from heaven, the Jews who were God’s peoples did not have to demand for a sign from heaven to back up his words. Jonah’s words to the Ninivites were enough, so Jesus’ words to the Jews should be sufficient.
This message was for the Jews as it is for us today. We should be careful not to give more credence to so-called miraculous signs than to the compelling words of Jesus who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.