Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Signs (3rd Sunday of Easter)

So they said to him, "What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Jn 6:30.

It is interesting to note that Jesus goes on, not to answer this question, but to explain that he is the Bread of Life. The question He leaves unanswered, He had previously answered:

"Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." He said to them in reply, "An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet. Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. Mt 38-40

It is a normal human foible to wish to have first hand evidence before we accept something. Thomas is our emblematic figure of this, when he said:

"Unless I see…, I will not believe." Jn 20:25

Thomas is granted to see, and he admits to more than he saw:

"My Lord and my God!" Jn 20:28

And Jesus responds with:

"Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." Jn 20:29

The burning question is, do you believe, or seek signs? Notice that Thomas believed not just what he saw, but affirmed what went beyond sight; that Jesus is God. Stand now before the risen Lord, and either affirm him God, or stand aside (like those in John 6:66). If he is God, then as the omnipotent God, His word is to be trusted; and He has chosen to bring the Logos, the Word, to you in human form. A scandal today as it was 2000 years ago, that God would use fallible human flesh to communicate Himself to us. Place you hands in the wounds, the wounds you have caused in the sacred humanity of Christ. He said to his Apostles

“Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me." Lk 10:16

This my friends is where faith enters, the test of faith in this age; for Christ has not left us orphans, but has made a promise:

And behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world. Mt 28:20.

For would you not listen to Jesus if He were standing next to you, telling you to “sin no more” or that you are an unprofitable servant, or any of the things He told His own when He walked in the flesh? Now, His promise is fulfilled in our sight, but why do we refuse to see? We refuse for the same reason that so many refused 2000 years ago. We wanted the signs, we wanted what we wanted and not what was offered; so when we close off the Church from our lives, we tie Christ to the pillar; when we wag our tongues, offering our own opinions over the timeless wisdom of Christ through His Church, we lash his sacred flesh; and finally, our in our flip rejection of the Church’s Wisdom, we wash our hands with Pilate saying with our deeds (for actions speak louder than words),

“what is truth?” Jn 18:38

Ah, there is more, so much more, why settle for so little?

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