Gospel Mark 8 : 11-13
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,
seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.
He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,
“Why does this generation seek a sign?
Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.”
Then he left them, got into the boat again,
and went off to the other shore.
It's not often that Jesus seems to lose patience but here is one instance where he plainly expresses his exasperation and I can imagine how lost the disciples felt at "missing the boat" yet again !
In my spiritual blindness, I often refuse to see who Jesus is and what he is doing in my life and the lives of those around me.
I "paddle my own canoe" looking for signs of the God of my own desires that I want to see when instead the signs of the immanent God are all around me and I don't have to blithely sail away to find them.
This year it's quite useful to reflect on the fact that the gospel falls on Valentine's day when all people who love and are loved seek to send and expect to receive a sign and or symbol of love.
Unconditional love has the ultimate freedom that does not get caught up in the demands and expectations of human love and is the highest form of love.
I can only aspire to that sort of love because I am not perfect but I know it is an aim worth striving for.
It's a hard day for those who don't get a Valentine's day card, who don't feel loved or for those who don't feel they have love to give.
God's love is unconditional and the fact that we don't have to do anything to receive it is something we often take a lifetime to acknowledge and accept in our hearts. When the disciples saw Jesus setting off in the boat it must have induced in them an awful feeling of foolishness, restlessness and guilt. That's what life is like when I cast Christ adrift from His moorings in my heart. There is an anxious listlessness in everything I do and my energy is sapped.
So today as I read this parable I am taking the time to walk on the shore to welcome Christ with open arms when His boat comes back in !
Below is a repost of a reflection last year on a similar theme of Christ's response to asking for signs but this is from from Luke's gospel, (not Mark's which is today's.)