St. Margaret of Antioch
Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Him, "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." Matthew 12:38-39
It's always amazing to me when I compare how I act towards God and how I act towards my fellow humans. I used to have no problem offending God if it meant I would fit in in this world. I still do it to a certain extent, just not as bad. I recognize when I do it now and try to make it better. It seems so easy to ask God, "OK, what is going on here? Why can't you send us a sign that you really exist? Wouldn't all of these problems just go away?" This kind of question is insulting for Him. But then I can turn around and be afraid of asking my friend a question that might insult him/her. Why is it that we find it so much easier to offend God than our neighbor? Why is it that we doubt God so much, but can take a strangers word for it?
Jesus denies the scribes and Pharisees the sign they were seeking because He knew they saw Him as a sign of Satan. There was nothing He was going to be able to do to convince them. He knew what was in their hearts. Do we see God as our Father, as our friend we can talk to and have faith in? Or do we see Him, not as a sign of Satan (because I don't think anyone reading this blog really thinks that), but do we see Him as unfair or unjust and are asking Him to prove himself? I think we do that, whether we know it or not. Would you do that to your boss? If your boss said, "Joe, I want you to join Team A and work on their project with them (a project you secretly think isn't going to work)." Would you question him/her? You might. And depending on your boss' personality, he/she might get mad for your doubt about whether or not that was the right decision, right? Well, how do you think God feels when we do that to Him?
I used to think about why God doesn't come down from the Heavens and show Himself to us. But you know what? He does it all the time. He is always giving us signs that He is with us. For me, I see Him in my children. I see Him in my children's smiles and the way they talk and love each other (when that happens). I see Him in my home when I think, "I hope we're going to have enough money for that," and I get a surprise check in the mail from one of my businesses. I see Him in my husband and his ability to support a family of 5, 2 dogs, and private Catholic school for my kids. I see Him in the flowers and the bugs and the wildlife we have in our fields (even though we may not want them there). God made all of these things possible. He created us and everything around us, and it just makes them all the more beautiful to me.
So a sign? I don't want to insult God with questions of a sign of His existence in my life. I get them each and every day. I just have to open my eyes, my ears, and my heart to them.
Lord, thank you for the signs you give me every day so I know you are always with us. Help me to keep my mind and heart open to You so I can continue to see You in each and every thing I do.
Exodus 14:5-18 Exodus 15:1-6 Matthew 12:38-42
Speaking the Truth
We don’t like to speak the truth about evil because we’re going to hurt somebody. Let me tell you, you are going to hurt somebody, but that Somebody is God. If you would rather hurt God than your neighbor, there is something wrong with your spirituality. It’s your obligation to speak the truth and everyone can either take it or leave it. But truth must be in us. We live in such poverty of the truth today.
- Mother Angelica
- Mother Angelica