“An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:39-40)
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, a faith built on signs and wonders is evil and adulterous. It is evil because it does not touch the heart to repent; it is adulterous because it makes Jesus an option in the midst of plenty. 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 need miracles and I don’t get it, I would go looking for miracles somewhere else. Now, we can see 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.
A true test of faith is being able to stand firmly on your beliefs in the absence of signs. It is easy to talk about faith when God does something great and wonderful for you. But what happens when your prayers are not answered? The true testimony of faith is NOT when a miracle happens, the true testimony of faith is when one is so moved to repentance from sin because one has encountered God. 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.)
As Micah said in today’s first reading, what God requires from us is not burnt offering (heavy donations, tithes, harvest, bazaar, etc.) God does not need thousands of rams, not even rivers of oil. God does not need our millions. God does not need our beautiful church buildings. What does God need? “Do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8).
Never forget this fact: When we receive miracles, we are happy but when we repent from sin, God is happy. If after receiving miracles, we fail to repent from our sinfulness, God is not happy with us. God would never stop loving us but if we seek happiness from God, let us also behave in a way that would make God happy with us.
Let us pray: Almighty ever-living God, your word is Truth, sink me deeper into the Truth. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Micah 6:1-4,6-8, Ps. 50:5-6,8-9,16-17,21,23, Matthew 12:38-42).
© Rev. Fr. Evaristus Abu