HOMILY THEME: An Evil Generation Seeks Signs to Repent

BY: Fr. Evaristus Abu


HOMILY:(Monday 14th October 2019. Read Romans 1:1-7, Psalm 98 and Luke 11:29-32)

“This generation is an evil generation; it asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be to this generation.” (Luke 11:29-30)

One question I have often tried to grapple with is: “Why is it that despite our seeming closeness to God and all of our religiosity, sin remains like a weight clinging to us and preventing us from running the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith?” (Cf. Hebrews 12:1-2).

From time to time, God blesses us with certain life-changing experiences that seem to shake our world. We are brought to our knees by force, we realize more than ever that God is real. We begin to make deep resolutions just like Naaman who upon receiving his miracle vowed never to serve the idols of his country anymore but God alone. The problem is that it doesn’t take long before we find ourselves returning to our old ways.

Miracles may move us to a deeper faith in God. Listening to the testimonies of others may move us to tears and strengthen our resolutions to be good. Signs and wonders may help us become more determined to be good, but the truth is that these are not enough to sustain our faith. Why? If our righteousness is based on miracles, signs and wonders, it means we would need to see at least one spectacular miracle every single day to believe. It means we would soon get so used to miracles that we would be needing more and more spectacular miracles to practice our faith. This was the problem of the people in today’s Gospel passage who were demanding a sign from Jesus.

Note that this was a crowd that had seen Jesus perform countless miracles. In fact, they had just seen Jesus casting out demon from a man with an unclean spirit. Unfortunately, some of the people began to rumour that Jesus was casting out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons. The crowds were not just asking for any sign, they wanted Jesus to do something to dispel this rumour, they were asking for something higher, something extra-ordinary, something never heard of before; something that their own people could not do.

Jesus clearly understood what the crowd were asking for. He knew that they wanted to see something never heard of before, so, in a very coded language, Jesus announced the sign of all signs saying: “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah. For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.” (Luke 11:29-30). I bet that no one understood what Jesus said because He was referring to His Death and resurrection on the third day. This is THE SIGN; that Jesus died and rose from the dead by Himself. This is the ultimate miracle. This is the miracle on which lay the foundation of Christianity as a whole.

We do not need any more miracles to believe or to repent. If we are not convinced by the resurrection of Jesus, nothing else can convince us. A true Christian is not a miracle-seeker, a true Christian is one who will repent of sin and continue living a holy life regardless of any signs and wonders. A true Christian is one who will do what is right and obey God even when their prayers remain unanswered and miracles do not come.

Let us pray: Lord Jesus, free me from superficial faith. Amen.

Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Monday of the 28th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Romans 1:1-7, Psalm 98 and Luke 11:29-32).

Fr. Abu.

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