March 4, 2009

ATM Generation

Luke 11:29-32: “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but not sign
will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.”

Faith is to see things that we cannot see. But human as we are, sometimes we do need clear signs to move on because we are physical being living in a physical world. And so God, knowing us well and where we are coming from, created the universe as a concrete sign of His love and His desire to reveal Himself to us. Then he allowed Jesus, His only Son to take the human form, for us to see God in real flesh. Jesus is not just the sign of God, but God Himself. Unfortunately, our sinfulness and selfishness blind us to see these signs and the presence of God in our midst.

In our gospel today, in Jesus’ exasperation to the crowd for always demanding for signs, like performing more miracles for them; he exclaimed, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” (Luke 11:29) His frustration? The crowds’ failure to see that He himself was the LIVING SIGN. Jesus did many miracles in their midst, yet they failed to see because of their hardheadedness and unbelief. They followed Jesus everywhere because they needed his miracles, and not because they wanted him. They worshiped and followed him everywhere because he fed and healed them. But they started hating and abandoning him when he ignored their request for more miracles.

God knows and understands us well. He knows that once in a while, we need tangible signs to believe. Thus, he is always giving signs of his love for us. But these signs are so ordinary that we ignore them always: food in our table, singing birds in the morning, a flower in the garden, a faithful friend, a loving wife or husband, a good parents, a smile from a stranger, a sudden rain in the afternoon, a cool breeze in the evening and more. These signs are too obvious not to be seen by our eyes. Unfortunately these simple yet important things in our daily life are so mundane that we don’t see them anymore as signs of God’s love.

Like the crowd in our gospel today, we want more signs. The more the merrier. And like the crowd, if we cannot get the signs we are demanding (like an answered prayer), in our own cunning and little way, in a very subtle and unconscious way, we give God a cold shoulder, a frown, and silently protest against Him in different ways.

Again, there is nothing wrong in asking for signs. Prophets and holy people do ask for signs. If no “bonus signs” are given, then stop; take a deep breath, and jump in faith. It is a defining moment where God separates the “spiritual babies” from the “spiritual giants.”

In moments like this where external signs are denied from us, just open your “inner eyes”. Recall those moments in the past where God accompanied you all the way. If God did help you before, how much more now? And that’s more than enough for you to leap in faith.

Is God like an ATM Machine to you?
We love it when CASH comes out, but cursed it when it says, “OFF LINE”

- Willy M. Samson’s
Carmelites Convent
March 4, 2009

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