YEAR B: HOMILY FOR MONDAY OF THE 16TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
HOMILY THEME: SIGNS OF PRESENCE OF GOD
BY: Fr. Benny Tuazon
(Mt. 12:38-42) Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
In today’s Gospel Jesus responds to the demands of the leaders for signs. Jesus told them that the signs which will be given to them are the signs of the preaching of Jonah and the wisdom of Solomon. Jonah’s preaching was heard by the Ninevites and they changed their ways. Solomon’s wisdom was way beyond any existent one. Both were great signs of the presence of God.
It was unfortunate that they did not recognize Jesus, the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus was not only greater than Jonah and Solomon. He was the perfect sign of God. His words were self-authenticating. His passion, death, and resurrection spoke fully of Jesus’ identity. Thus, facing the best and perfect sign of all signs, and still asking for a better sign, is the height of blindness and unfaithfulness. When we seek signs, what do we really need? How do we see God representing Himself?
Unfortunately, we are convinced that God can only be seen in the supernatural way, in the abnormal, in the transcendent, in the spirit. Yes, God is supernatural but He is also present in His creation and in the events of our lives. The majesty of the stars, the beauty of the human body, the capacity of the human mind and the complexity of the natural world, these are manifestations, not perfect, but good signs of God’s presence. In our wonder, we we face God’s awesome presence.
Unfortunately, human beings prefer unreliable signs. They leave it to chances, superstitions, and self-determined signs. Bleeding statues, crying images, dancing of the stars, bold and unwarranted predictions, horoscopes, and fortune telling. Add to this the misinterpretation or self- serving explanation of Scriptures. Not a few were victimized by unscrupulous people. Jesus saw our day. Until we listen to Him and recognize Him, we will always be looking for signs. Jesus’ trial before Pilate comes to mind here. At a certain point, Pilate was asking Jesus “Truth.” Jesus was silent. The Gospel writer John seems to be giving the message that if Pilate could not recognize Jesus as the Truth (the Way and the Life), no explanation from Jesus would be enough. Truth was right in front of Pilate.
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