Grace to you!
In our everyday life, there are times we look for signs from the Lord. It could be signs of divine approval for a particular decision, signs that God is leading our affairs.
Signs in our religious experience are pointers that God is here. God is with us and is in charge of things as they unveil. In technical biblical language, signs are the miraculous. It could include nature miracles, such as calming of the storm; healing miracles, such as opening the eyes of the blind; provisions or what some call miracles of supply, such as feeding of the five thousand; and miracles over the demonic, such as casting out demons or exorcism.
The Lord Jesus Christ did numerous miracles during his public ministry. Believers in the Lord Jesus Christ from the apostles till today, in the Lord’s name, have been granted the grace of the miraculous. Signs and wonders didn’t end with the Christ. As he assured his disciples, those who believe will witness the miraculous too (Mk 16:17).
I don’t know about you, but in my life and ministry, I have seen so much of the miraculous works of God. The miraculous confirms more and more that the Lord is at work even today. The miraculous often strengthens those whose faith sometimes grow cold.
On the other hand, the Lord warned against faith dependent on the miraculous (Mt 12:38-42). We read about the encounter between him and some scribes and Pharisees:
“Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign; but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” (Mt 12:38-39).
In the above conversation, the Lord is demonstrating two things at the same time. Rejecting the search for the miraculous as a precondition for faith. He also offered his death and resurrection as the climax of all miraculous and the sign which is sufficient for faith.
Of what use is faith if is based on what we can see with the physical eye? What is the evidence of one’s faith if it is based on miracles? As the Letter to the Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Which means in faith, one is accepting what is not seen with the physical eyes. Hence, we call it “seeing with the eye of faith.” Signs are seeing with the physical eyes.
Experience has shown that those who look for signs before they believe would hardly believe. This is because the human heart can never be satisfied with one sign. It would want some more and when it does not come, the past miracles are easily forgotten.
I have seen this over and over again in ministries. Many easily forget what has happened before. They forget when the Lord did the miraculous and saved them from a situation. A new challenge comes, they forget about the past.
For those who have faith, they keep moving on. They are convinced that miracle or no miracle, the Lord is in charge of their life and history. As the Psalmist says, “Those who trust in the Lordare like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever” (Ps 125:1).
I pray for you today. May you be gifted with so strong a faith that in all things, you keep an eye on the finish line of saving grace. Amen.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Monday, 16thWeek Ordinary Time: Micah 6:1-4, 6-8; Matthew 12:38-42]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.