Meditation: Do you pay attention to warning signs? Many
fatalities could be avoided if people took the warning signs
seriously. When the religious leaders demanded a sign from Jesus,
he gave them a warning to avert spiritual disaster. It was
characteristic of the Jews that they demanded "signs" from God's
messengers to authenticate their claims. When the religious
leaders pressed Jesus to give proof for his claims he says in so
many words that he is God's sign and that they need no further
evidence from heaven than his own person.
The people of Nineveh were saved because they accepted the
sign and message of Jonah
The Ninevites recognized God's warning when Jonah spoke to them, and they repented (Jonah 3:1-10). And the Queen of Sheba recognized God's wisdom in Solomon (1 Kings 10:1-10). Jonah was God's sign and his message was the message of God for the people of Nineveh. Unfortunately the religious leaders were not content to accept the signs right before their eyes. They had rejected the message of John the Baptist and now they reject Jesus as God's Anointed One (Messiah) and they fail to heed his message.
Jesus' death and resurrection brings us new ever lasting
Simeon had prophesied at Jesus' birth that he was "destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that inner thoughts of many will be revealed" (Luke 2:34- 35). Just as Jonah spent 3 days in the belly of the whale before he delivered the Ninevites from death and destruction, Jesus likewise spent 3 days in the tomb before rising again to save us from sin and death and bring us new life. Jesus confirmed his message of good news and deliverance with many miracles in preparation for the greatest sign of all - his resurrection on the third day.
The Lord Jesus came to set us free from slavery to sin and
hurtful desires. Through the gift of the Holy Spirit he pours his
love into our hearts that we may understand his will for our lives
and walk in his way of holiness (Romans 5:5). God searches our
hearts, not to condemn us, but to show us where we need his saving
grace and help. He calls us to seek him with true repentance,
humility, and the honesty to see our sins for what they really are
- a rejection of his love and will for our lives.
Listen to God's word of wisdom and you will find true life
and everlasting joy
God will transform us if we listen to his word and allow his Holy Spirit to work in our lives. Ask the Lord to renew your mind and to increase your thirst for his wisdom. James says that the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity (James 3:17). A double-minded person cannot receive this kind of wisdom. The single of heart desire one thing alone - God's pleasure. God wants us to delight in him and to know the freedom of his truth and love. Do you thirst for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14)?
"Lord Jesus, give me a heart that loves what is good and in accord with your will and fill me with your wisdom that I my understand your ways. Give me the grace and the courage to reject whatever is evil and contrary to your will."
This reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager, whose website is located at: http://www.rc.net/wcc/readings/