Monday - 16th Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel – Matthew 12:38-42
What’s Your Sign?
Sign, Upper Galilee
In case you haven’t noticed, we live in a world of signs! Not just traffic signs and price tags, for sale signs and animal crossings! And consider how much more dependent we were on signs just in the past 16 months. Shops only had one entrance and one exit door. There were one-way arrows on the aisle floors in grocery stores and 6-feet-apart signs for us to keep our distance in banks. Arrows to direct us which way to go to communion in church and signs to warn us about wearing masks! Remember what it felt like when restrictions were lifted and so many of those signs disappeared? Yes, there was a great feeling of relief but there was also a sense of unease! What do I do now? Is it ok to stand closer in line? What door do I go in? Does the store still require a mask?
Signs! They protect us, provide us with information, they give us direction. And in today’s Gospel, that is exactly what the Scribes and Pharisees are looking for from Jesus! Give Us A Sign!! Show us the way! Show us who you really are! Prove yourself!
I have to admit, given all that we have gone through lately with Corona and business shutdowns and social distancing, even with the relaxing of directives, we are still in the same boat as the Pharisees on this one. Give me a sign. Give me some idea of where we are going, how is this all going to pan out. Give me some sign that things are going to get better!
Of course, the Pharisees were just looking for a way to trip Jesus up, to embarrass Himself. We, however, are looking for encouragement, comfort. We are all praying to find some meaning and purpose to all that is going on. But maybe that is the sign. Maybe all that is going on is the signal for us to re-examine all that is “normal”, all that is “routine”, all that we have taken for granted. We have been given an opportunity to step away from “normal” and take the time to really appreciate all we have in our life – family, friends, faith! To take the time to re-order our lives and our priorities! To realize all that we have missed – the touch of a loved one, the gathering together of our faith community, the simple gift of eating out, the gift of the Eucharist! Maybe the sign really is a sign – to refocus, to re-direct my life!
Creator, help me not to be discouraged during this time of continued unrest and uncertainty. Give me the strength and wisdom to refocus my life and rededicate myself to You and my brothers and sisters, to re-energize my heart and my soul and to recognize the signs of Your presence in my life.