Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Mark 8:11-13
On its face, this is a simple Gospel. The Pharisees want to test Jesus, seeking a sign. Jesus responds with a hard no, gets into the boat, and shoves off. Yet I’m left with questions.
What about saints and others who have received signs? What’s so wrong with signs, anyway?
I like signs. They tell me where to go, whether I’m on the right track, and generally keep me safe. Who wouldn’t like a sign that the decision they’ve made is correct? If I truly want only to do God’s will, why would He withhold a sign of what it might be?
Careful reading of these verses and those following reminds me that Jesus did not leave us without signs. In the next passage, He reminds the disciples of the miracle of the loaves and the fishes, asking, “Do you not yet understand?” Then in the following verses, He cures a blind man.
Read in this context, it’s clear God does provide signs, then and now, even in our mundane lives. They aren’t showy displays meant to garner oohs and aahs. They aren’t wonders for us to ogle. That is what Jesus denied the Pharisees.
Jesus is not an attention-seeker. Instead, He goes about His business, meeting people’s needs in quiet but miraculous ways, feeding and healing.
As a child, I asked my mother if she loved me. She may as well have sighed deeply, as Jesus did and repeated His question, “Do you not yet understand?” And then she reminded me of all the ways she showed her love, including the many meals she prepared for me and the laundry she did.
We may not receive the wonders we seek. But what God provides is something better—tangible, irrefutable actions that prove He is our loving Father.
Do I seek wonders while overlooking true signs of God's love and care?
Lord, help me to recognize Your loving care instead of putting You to the test.
Copyright 2021 Carolyn Astfalk