He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Mark 8:12
There are signs all around us, yet we see none. We are enraptured so deeply with a certain prayer or prayers that we have closed ourselves off to God. We are the Pharisees demanding a sign when the sign is right in front of us.
It is difficult to embrace the concept of thy will be done. We repeat it daily but don’t listen. We are still self-involved and self-sufficient.
We do not listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus gave many directions to people. Ultimately, He told them what they needed to hear. Give away your riches, leave your people, feed my sheep. Jesus’s directions to each one of the people he interacted with and touched was different. His messages to them permeate time because His messages are timeless.
They are what we need to hear
Today, Jesus is approached by the Pharisees who immediately begin to argue with Him. They did not come seeking His answer, but their own. And while it is easy to see them as self-righteous and unfaithful, God tells us the story of us. We are easily slipped into this scripture in Mark 8:11.
I came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
The original scripture refers to the Pharisees, but placing ourselves in those words places the blame on us, which is squarely where it belongs.
God is not a genie, He is our Master
Jesus did not scold the Pharisees because they were religious, Jesus scolded the Pharisees because they were misguided. Intention is everything.
How do we approach God’s throne of grace?
There are many things I may want that are not good for me. I cannot impose my will on God.
But a heart open to God is a heart open to signs and wonders. It is a heart that sees God in all things. A baby’s smile, the clouds, the embrace of a friend. It is the heart of the Eucharist, the kindness of a stranger, the unexpected grace that God pours into my life. When I am open, there is no need for me to ask for a sign, they are all around me.
Today, if you are struggling, I urge you to step back for a moment and just experience God in His natural state. If you enjoy the outdoors, go for a walk. If you are home bound, hold Him in the rosary. If you are at work, push away from the computer and offer a prayer of gratitude that you are employed. He is in all these things and more. He is in everything.
Let me not be like the Pharisees and come to you argumentative, but instead come to you with an open heart. I ask you to fill it and allow me to be open to what you have to say. Let me forget my wants and needs and place all of that in your capable hands. Then let me listen, let me breathe in your presence and know you are with me.
In Jesus Name,