THEME: CRAVING FOR SIGNS
BY: Fr. Karabari Paul
HOMILY FOR MONDAY JULY 18 2022
‘An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign.’
For today’s society, seeking signs has become one of the most disturbing aspects of Christianity. For many, this trapping has become a major criterion for judging the denomination that harbours God and His powers. Many, in fact, feel as though God owed them a sign. Others are simply willing to claim any and everything as a sign. And to satisfy them, native and witch doctors are converting evil shrines into churches, and changing their regalia to suits.
The scribes and Pharisees had seen sign after sign, yet demanded another sign from Jesus in today’s Gospel (Matthew 12: 38-42). They had seen everything they needed to know about Jesus as Lord, but were not satisfied. In fact, after having witnessed Jesus perform a miracle earlier in this very chapter of Matthew, they claimed that He used satanic power to achieve it. The fact remains that those who will not accept you, will never accept you no matter what you do to please them. And those that will be on your side don’t need much impression.
Jesus’ response to their request for a sign is significant. He answered, “An evil and adulterous generation demands a sign…” The act of demanding a sign is associated with evil and, interestingly, adultery. We can understand how it was evil of them to demand that Jesus dance to their music, but the way Jesus described such a generation as adulterous is interesting.
We may be tempted to condemn the Scribes and Pharisees for their unbelief. But we are often angry with God when our prayers are not answered exactly as we desire. This amounts to getting angry when the sign we asked for is not granted. Some people have given up their roles, and even stopped coming to Church because God hasn’t answered their prayers. God doesn’t need to answer our prayers to show how powerful He is or to prove Himself to be God.
Condemning the Scribes and Pharisees when you are a familiar face in the churches of all the ‘Powerful Pastors, Prophets and Priests (PPP)’ is a self-deceit. What exactly do you seek there if not signs given through oil and handkerchief?
The presence of Christ among us is a valid sign of God’s presence, His grace and free gift of salvation. The free gifts of our lives and a new day are all signs of God’s presence and goodness. Signs are only minor aspects of the reign of God. Repentance and righteousness should be sought first and signs will follow. God is not an entertainer, and Church’s sanctuary shouldn’t be converted to an entertainment podium. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, heal our world, bless and protect us all through Christ Our Lord Amen. Please, stay safe. Good morning.
Fr. Karabari Paul