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July 19, 2021

Mt 12: 38-42

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. 

The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!

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.

Asking for a sign

When I say to my children we need to have “A come to Jesus talk,” they expect a conversation with brutal honesty and difficult truths.  For me, today’s readings signal a similar need for brutal honesty in communicating with God.  I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has prayed asking God to share a sign, some form of reassurance, especially in difficult moments.  God is capable of spectacular signs, such as in today’s first reading from Mass where God parts the Red Sea when the Israelites were in need (Ex 14: 5-18).  But then in today’s Gospel, the Pharisees’ request a sign that is clearly rooted in their distrust, and even fear, of Jesus’ spiritual authority.  Jesus’ response indicates that he sees their lack of sincerity, their thinly veiled selfish intentions.

When I communicate with God in prayer, what does my hope for a sign really indicate?  When I come to Jesus, am I prepared for the honesty he demands?  There are signs of God’s love all around me, both subtle and spectacular.  So, what are my true intentions when I ask for a sign?  Is my faith during such moments more like Moses’ or the Pharisees’? 

 —Bryan Sokol is a faculty member at Saint Louis University and trained as a child research psychologist.  He is the father of three sons attending Catholic schools. 

 

Prayer

Good and gracious God, I am grateful for your love and wisdom.  You already know what’s in my heart.  You see who I truly am.  Please strengthen in me an attitude of thoughtful discernment and open my eyes to deeper self-understanding.  Please help me to pay closer attention to the ways that you communicate your abiding goodness and love through the many signs that surround me.  I will always trust in you.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen. 

—Bryan Sokol


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July 19, 2021

Mt 12: 38-42

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. 

The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!

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.

Asking for a sign

When I say to my children we need to have “A come to Jesus talk,” they expect a conversation with brutal honesty and difficult truths.  For me, today’s readings signal a similar need for brutal honesty in communicating with God.  I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has prayed asking God to share a sign, some form of reassurance, especially in difficult moments.  God is capable of spectacular signs, such as in today’s first reading from Mass where God parts the Red Sea when the Israelites were in need (Ex 14: 5-18).  But then in today’s Gospel, the Pharisees’ request a sign that is clearly rooted in their distrust, and even fear, of Jesus’ spiritual authority.  Jesus’ response indicates that he sees their lack of sincerity, their thinly veiled selfish intentions.

When I communicate with God in prayer, what does my hope for a sign really indicate?  When I come to Jesus, am I prepared for the honesty he demands?  There are signs of God’s love all around me, both subtle and spectacular.  So, what are my true intentions when I ask for a sign?  Is my faith during such moments more like Moses’ or the Pharisees’? 

 —Bryan Sokol is a faculty member at Saint Louis University and trained as a child research psychologist.  He is the father of three sons attending Catholic schools. 

 

Prayer

Good and gracious God, I am grateful for your love and wisdom.  You already know what’s in my heart.  You see who I truly am.  Please strengthen in me an attitude of thoughtful discernment and open my eyes to deeper self-understanding.  Please help me to pay closer attention to the ways that you communicate your abiding goodness and love through the many signs that surround me.  I will always trust in you.  In Jesus’ name, I pray.  Amen. 

—Bryan Sokol


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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