_“An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (Matthew 12:39)
Jesus upbraided the towns where most of his miracles were done because, despite the abundance of signs and wonders, the people refused to repent. Jesus said: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes.” (Matthew 11:21-22).
Today, some people came directly to ask Jesus for a sign so that they would believe. In response, Jesus called them an “evil and adulterous generation.” Indeed, faith built on signs and wonders is evil and adulterous. It is evil because it only entertains and does not move the heart to repent. It is adulterous because it makes God just an option. After all, even the devil can work signs and wonders.
If my faith in Jesus Christ is based on His ability to work miracles, the day I ask for a miracle and I do not get it, I would go looking for miracles somewhere else. This is why people jump from church to church, shrine to shrine. Like an adulterous spouse, they keep looking for something they think is missing in the one they have at home.
You do not need a miracle to believe in God but the moment you believe in God, you will suddenly begin to see miracles everywhere (especially in those things you often take for granted). If only these people had believed that Jesus is God, they would realize that His very presence is the greatest miracle of all time. Faith opens our eyes.
If we don’t need miracles to believe, why then do miracles happen? To remind us of the need to repent of our sins. When Peter saw the great catch of fish, he fell down at Jesus’ knees and proclaimed: “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”(Luke 5:8). When Isaiah beheld the glory of God in the temple, he said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips.” (Isaiah 6:5)
The prophet Micah in today’s first reading explains that what God requires from us is simple: to do justice, to love kindness and to walk in humility.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, grant me a faith deep enough to see your Hands at work in my life and the grace to truly repent of my sins. Amen.
Bible Study: Micah 6:1-8, Psalm 50:5-23, Matthew 12:38-42).