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Lenten Reflection: Day 8
Gospel, Luke 11:29-32
The crowd about Jesus in today’s gospel apparently has been pushing Him to give them a sign. They wanted God, at Jesus’ behest, to intervene somehow, to assure them that God approves of Jesus’ words and works. Sometimes we think that it would be a great remedy if Jesus appears among us today. Present with us in person and hearing us. In today’s Gospel, God is expected to intervene in a manner which calls for Him to show a sign to the peoples.
Both Jesus and Jonah preached and people turned to God in repentance. But preaching probably is not enough of a sign to turn the hearts and minds of people who are hard-hearted and constantly seek factual or tangible experiences to believe. What sign will ever satisfy a person who has no faith?
The sign of Jonah is the sign of Christ’s resurrection. Jonah was in the belly of the fish, within darkness and helpless. But Jesus who was in the tomb for three days, entered into the underworld to give the good news to the captive souls, those who have been dead from the very time of Adam. Death did not make Jesus helpless in the tomb, rather it opened the door for Him to draw to himself all those who desired to be saved and have been bound by the shackles of hopelessness.
Listening and feeding on the Word of God is healing to body, mind and soul. It is the will of The Father that His Son Jesus proclaims the good news to the captive and sets them free. It is for this purpose and for the purpose of dying an ignominious death for the redemption of mankind that Jesus became God incarnate. The belly of the earth could not contain the Divine power of Jesus, who conquered death and made life reign for all eternity.
The Queen Sheba was a foreigner and yet she believed, so what excuse did the Jews have to not believe? Jesus states that His ministry is greater than Jonah’s, yet His people did not repent. John 1:10-12 says, “He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.”
The one greater than Solomon is Jesus. He is the Lamb of God, He is the greatest among all prophets, He is the High Priest, He is the New Adam, He is the Son of God. The voice from heaven affirms this during His baptism. Therefore, no sign is greater than the life if Christ on earth. His message is for all of mankind. Those who have ears will listen, those who seek Truth will believe and those who desire salvation will walk in His ways.