February 16, 2015

Gospel MK 8:11-13
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.


The Pharisees tried Jesus’ soul with their demand for an extraordinary sign to prove to them that he was sent from heaven.The scripture says, “He sighed from the depth of his spirit.” How tired and exasperated he must have been with their need for a sign, their lack of faith.
Hebrews 11:1 tells us: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
The evidence of the Pharisees’ lack of faith was their very demand for a sign because faith is “the conviction of things not seen.”
Faith in our Creator comes to us through signs that are not always seen with our eyes, but sometimes with our hearts.
As I write this reflection, I am at the Holy Cross Retreat House helping to conduct a Matt Talbot retreat for recovering alcoholics.
“Mike” asked to speak to me as he left the chapel.
In tears he said, “Jim, when I came here four months ago I cried because I learned that God had forgiven me. This morning in chapel I stared at the picture of The Prodigal Son and cried in gratitude that I am so loved by God.”
The “sign” of the presence of the risen Christ is manifested in the lost soul who humbly kneels seeking forgiveness and experiences the warmth and peace of God’s love.