July 18, 2022
Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time
Readings for Today
Saint Camillus de Lellis, Priest—USA Optional Memorial
(Celebrated July 14 outside the United States)
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” Matthew 12:38-39
Jonah was the sign. He spent three days and nights in the belly of a whale. He certainly was presumed dead by those who threw him over the side of the boat. But the whale acted as an instrument of God’s will in that it brought Jonah to Nineveh to preach repentance. And they did repent and change their lives! The darkness of the belly of the whale, in the end, became a blessing and a sign for ages to come.
Fast forward from the story of Jonah to the story above when the followers of Jesus seek a sign from Him. They want some sort of “proof” of who He is. Or perhaps they are just curious and want to be “entertained” by a miracle. Whatever the case may be, Jesus makes it clear that the sign He will give is the sign of Jonah.
Clearly, the story of Jonah is a prefiguration of the death of Jesus, His three days in the tomb and His Resurrection. This is the sign that Jesus will offer and the sign that He continues to offer. It’s a sign of great hope when we perceive it properly.
However, very often we can fall into the same temptation as the followers of Jesus in the story above. Very often we also want a sign other than the signs Jesus gave us. We want some other proof from God of His will. We want Him to speak loudly and clearly. But that doesn’t always happen. More often what we experience is what appears to be silence from God. We may wonder, “Lord, where are You? Why don’t You speak to me?” But Jesus will speak to us in the same way. He will gently remind us of His life, death and Resurrection. He will remind us that we must believe in all that He has spoken, and even if we feel like we are in the belly of a whale or dead in a tomb, hope is not lost. God is present in all things and He is active and present to us even when He seems to be silent.
Reflect, today, upon how strong your faith is even though you may not get the sign from Heaven that you may want. You must be reminded that the Father spoke to you clearly through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus and this is the way He continues to speak to you today. Listen to that lesson and embrace the truths it proclaims. Even if you feel like you are in a tomb or God is silent, know He is not. He is speaking to you all the time. You just need to discern His voice.
Lord of holy silence, help me to believe in You even though I do not see miracles or signs from Heaven. Help me to believe in You despite any doubts or weaknesses I have in life. Give me a firm faith to answer Your call in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.
Saint of the Day: Saint Camillus de Lellis