Wednesday of the First Week of Lent – Something Greater is Here
The tone of today’s Gospel is decidedly sharp. We encounter Jesus amongst a growing crowd who, despite all the signs and miracles he has worked, demand yet another sign. It would seem that his hearers are deaf; indeed, it would seem that they are blind also. Luke, in his previous chapters, has already related to us the many wonders which Jesus has performed; episode after episode of healings, exorcisms and other good works. It would seem that no matter how much the people see of and hear of Christ, they remain unmoved. The implication is that they simply do not want to believe. Perhaps this is why Jesus describes them in such forceful terms; “This generation is an evil generation.” Jesus tells them that; “no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.” Like Jonah before Him, Jesus is a radical sign of conversion and repentance. He is all they need, no further signs are necessary.
Jonah became a powerful sign of conversion for the Ninevites because they were willing to listen; they were of an open disposition, willing to believe and trust in God. He “saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way.” (Jonah 3:10) Likewise, the pagan Queen of the South, came to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Jesus is greater than these and yet the implication is clear; if the people will not listen, the Day of Judgement will come, and condemnation with it. In short, there is no time to look for further signs and miracles; we have all the signs we need and we must now act with an open heart to receive God’s Word. Lent is our time to recognise Christ, the sign of our salvation, and to turn to Him with renewed vigour and openness. If we recognise Him for who he is, then He will grant us what we need to follow Him.