The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Here’s the thing – Jesus had been giving them all kinds of signs. The first healing in Mark’s gospel, and many thereafter, occur in the synagogue. He told the leper to show himself to the priest and offer the ritual of purification, “that will be proof for them.” However, Jesus and his ministry didn’t match the Pharisees’ image of the Messiah promised by the prophets. That left them all a little frustrated. How often am I baffled or even angered by what seem to be unfulfilled dreams and unanswered prayers?
A good friend lost her job last summer due to a restructuring. While not completely unexpected, the reality was a shock. I have admired her courage and honesty in dealing with disappointment and anger as she moves forward with faith. She has not rushed into a new position out of fear but, as we learned in kindergarten, is taking time to “stop, look and listen before crossing the street.” She proceeded with her annual retreat and vacation, allowing time for the hurt to subside.
She has entered into different experiences, trying them on for size. She can be found in coffee shops and living rooms asking, listening to others share their stories, at prayer, and with her spiritual director paying attention to how her heart is moving and responding to God’s unfolding invitation. In return she is experiencing the grace of freedom, trusting that she will be able to read the signs and know in the fullness of time the next best step to take.
No matter where I find myself today, can I be less preoccupied with what I think God should be doing and more attentive to how God is engaged in bringing me light and life, healing and growth, right now?
Send us your spirit, O Lord.
Evening enfolds us and holds us too near. Wake the morning light.
Make our living bright.
Shine on our darkness, O Lord.
Hold us with mercy, O Lord.
Sorrow has spoken, has broken our hearts.
Clothe us in your care.
Be the life we bear.
Feed us and fill us, O Lord.
Teach us your wisdom, O Lord.
Shadows have clouded, have crowded our sight.
Give us hearts that see.
Set our loving free.
Hear us and help us, O Lord.
—Daniel L. Schutte, © OCP Publications, 1985. All rights reserved.