Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time, October 12
God Is Calling Each of Us to Open Our Minds and Our Hearts to His Presence in Our Daily Lives, So That We May Experience the Wonderful Signs of God’s Love for Us and God’s Challenge to Us in Our Individual Walks of Faith.
In today’s Gospel, we hear our Lord repeating Himself when He admonishes the crowd for their lack of faith, “…there is something greater than Solomon…there is something greater than Jonah here.”
If these words seem familiar, they should for we read them three months ago from the Gospel of Matthew. Today, we find them in the Gospel of Luke.
As I have mentioned many times before, you and I live in a world today which is sadly filled with materialistic pleasures and a culture which is guided by relativistic truth. In this secularistic society, there are many, many people who seem to walk through life wearing blinders, unable or unwilling to open their hearts and their minds to the beauty of God’s creation which surrounds each of us.
Many people wake up in the morning, go to work and carry on their daily routines. At the end of the day, they come home feeling tired and dissatisfied. Their lives are filled with an emptiness, which leaves them wanting for more – feeling, maybe even knowing, that something is truly missing from their lives – an emptiness which they feel but may not be able to fully grasp or understand.
In today’s Gospel, our Lord was responding to a need by the people who were gathering to see more. What was within their hearts saddened our Lord, for they, probably misguided by the scribes and the Pharisees which we find within Matthew’s version of this same scene, were unable to see “the forest through the trees.”
In other words, they could neither discern nor accept that “something greater than Solomon…something greater than Jonah” stood directly in front of them. If they only knew who Jesus truly was, if their hearts were truly opened and aware and accepting of God’s Truth, they would have no need for a sign.
It is not that God does not wish to give us signs, for a sign can be described as an expression of what is deep within one’s heart. And what is deep in the Divine Heart of God – is an indescribable love for His creation. The Old Testament is filled with signs, miraculous wonders which God effected so as to strengthen the faith of His chosen people.
The sign of love which one spouse gives to another, the sign of love which a parent gives to a child, is a word, an expression, a touch, an embrace – something which is tangible and meaningful, something which fills the heart and soul with faith, with hope and with love – a joy which fills our very being.
And these are the signs which God Himself wishes to give to each of us – something which we can hold on to, something which fills our hearts and our souls with faith, hope and love – something which fills us with a deep and abiding sense of joy.
But when the heart is cold, when we walk through life wearing blinders, not being open to all the beautiful gifts and the charisms which our Lord wishes to share with us through His Spirit of Truth and Love, when we place materialism and secularism before God Himself – then this is what saddens our Lord; this is what offends Him deeply.
Paul knew this when he wrote his letter to the Christian community in Galatia. Paul’s letter was designed to remind the faithful that sin binds us to a life of slavery – a way of life which Christ destroyed through the Cross and Resurrection, a way of life in which we become entangled when we become slaves to all the materialistic pleasures which surround us, when we give in to their seductions.
For as Paul tells us in our First Reading, “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.”
And how does Jesus respond to our lack of faith in the way many of His children live their lives by freely embracing other gods? How does He respond when we allow ourselves to become seduced and enslaved by all that is unholy? “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.”
In my heart, when I meditate upon the Paschal Mystery of Christ, I personally believe that it was the foreknowledge of our rejection, the rejection by God’s children of all that our Merciful Savior wishes to bestow upon us, which caused Christ’s greatest agony in the Garden of Gethsemane!
“…there is something greater than Solomon here.”
For those of us who go to Mass and frequent the Sacraments on a regular basis, our hearts are in the right place, for we are truly open to God’s grace.
It is not that I am being judgmental, but there are times, and I am sure we have all witnessed it, when, sadly, people sometimes come into Church, and there seems to be an apathy, an indifference if you will, shown to the Real Presence of Christ – very possibly due to a lack of knowledge or an unawareness or even forgetfulness of Who truly IS present in the Holy Tabernacle!
“…there is something greater than Jonah here.”
Would you and I react any differently if Christ suddenly appeared in bodily form and stood in the Sanctuary for all to see and worship?!
God is calling each of us to open our minds and our hearts to His Presence in our daily lives, so that we may experience the wonderful signs of God’s Love for us and God’s challenge to us in our individual walks of faith.
My prayer is that the Spirit of Truth and Love may help us to grow in the wisdom which comes from above, and that He may help us to free our hearts from all that would hinder God’s loving action within our own lives.
With the help of God’s grace, may we be opened to all the beautiful signs of His Love which surrounds us on a daily basis, and may we truly recognize our Lord Jesus Christ, and the wonder of His Love and Mercy, who eternally stands before us! †
Please Comment, Like and Share, and Suggest to your Facebook friends – to spread the message of God’s Merciful Love.
Por favor Comente, Le Gusta y Comparta, y Sugiera a tus amigos en Facebook – en difundir el mensaje del Misericordioso Amor de Dios.
Scripture for the Day
- “Jesus then said to those…who believed in him, ‘If you remain in my word…you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.’” (John 8:31a, 32)
- “For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)
- “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah…and there is something greater than Jonah here.” (Luke 11:29bc, 32c)
- “At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here.” (Luke 11:31)
- “Through him we have received the grace of apostleship, to bring about the obedience of faith, for the sake of his name, among all the Gentiles, among whom are you also, who are called to belong to Jesus Christ; to all the beloved of God…called to be holy.” (Romans 1:5-7a)
- “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” (1 John 3:1)
- “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might have life through him. In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)
- “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
- “But God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
- “He saved us and called us to a holy life, not according to our works but according to his own design and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus before time began.” (2 Timothy 1:9)
- “Who is like the LORD our God, enthroned on high, looking down on heaven and earth? He raises the needy from the dust, lifts the poor from the ash heap.” (Psalm 113:5-7)
Prayer for the Day
“Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient,
ever new, late have I loved You!
You were within me, but I was outside,
and it was there that I searched for You.
“In my unloveliness I plunged into the
lovely things which You created.
You were with me, but I was not with You.
Created things kept me from You;
yet if they had not been in You
they would have not been at all.
“You called, You shouted, and You broke through my deafness.Saint Augustine of Hippo (Confessions by Saint Augustine)
You flashed, You shone, and You dispelled my blindness.
You breathed Your fragrance on me;
I drew in breath and now I pant for You.
I have tasted You, now I hunger and thirst for more.
You touched me, and I burned for Your peace.”