As the crowd increased, Jesus began to speak in this way, «People of the present time are evil people. They ask for a sign, but no sign will be given to them except the sign of Jonah. As Jonah became a sign for the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be a sign for this generation. The Queen of the South will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and here there is greater than Solomon. The people of Nineveh will rise up on Judgment Day with the people of these times and accuse them, for Jonah's preaching made them turn from their sins, and here there is greater than Jonah».
This generation is an evil generation, because it would like to control God and that God listen to it. This people desire that God submit to their pleasure. Is an evil generation, because it does not want to see all that is visible, offered by God. Therefore it will be judged by itself, by its own people, by its prophets.
It will also be judged by foreign peoples, by the whole world, because the people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba will stand against the firmness and hardness of heart of this people. Jesus tells us, that God has given us everything, and in order to have and understand the wonders of God, we only have to see and look, hear and listen, because "there is much more here than Jonah. »
Action of the day : Learn to see the signs.
«Here there is greater than Solomon; here there is greater than Jonah»
Fr. Antoni CAROL i Hostench
(Sant Cugat del Vallès, Barcelona, Spain)*
Today's Gospel invites us to focus our hopes in the very Jesus. John Paul II has, in this regard, written that «our salvation would not come from a formula, but from a Person and the certitude this Person instills into us: ‘I am here, in your midst!’».
God —who is Father too— has not gone back on us: «Christianism is a state of grace, it is the surprise of a God that, not satisfied by the creation of the world and of man, has decided to side by his creature» (John Paul II).
We find ourselves beginning Lent: let us not ignore the opportunity the Church is offering us: «Now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation» (2Cor 6:2). After looking at Our Lord Jesus Christ's suffering face during his Passion, shall we still dare asking for additional evidence of His Love? «For He had made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him» (2Cor 5:21). Even more: «He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall He not, along with him, also freely give us all things? (Rm 8:32). Do we still pretend more signs?
In Christ's bloodstained face «there is greater than Solomon (...); here, there is greater than Jonah» (Lk 11:31-32). This suffering face of the last hour, of the hour of the Cross is «a mystery within the mystery, in front of which human beings should prostate in worship». Indeed, «to return the face of the Father to men, Jesus had, not only to take on man's face, but to suffer the “face” of sin, too» (John Paul II). Do we want more signs?
«Behold, the man!» (Jn 19:5): herein lies the great sign. Let us watch it from the silence of the “desert” prayer: «What every Christian has to do at all times [to pray], he ought to do it now more carefully and more devotedly: we shall then abide by the apostolic institution of the forty days» (Saint Leo the Great, pope).