Give Us A Sign

All the scripture readings for today's Mass are here

Gospel reading of the day:
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.


 Don't you just love it when Jesus gets exasperated with us at our spiritual blindness and shows His humanity by refusing to give us a sign and then takes off in a boat ?

Jesus has just fed over 4,000, and yet the Pharisees came to Him asking for a sign.
How acutely aware I am of all the manifestly good things Jesus does for me but I am ever still a doubting Thomas. 

But I also know In the case of Thomas, after the Resurrection, Jesus relented and came back to show Thomas His wounds... 

How many times must Jesus sigh from the depths of His spirit at my lack of belief ?!

Image below by James Tissot

The mood of this 1940’s-50’s Georgia highway picture is a sense of foreboding that reflects the spirit of the Flannery O’Connor story "A Good Man is Hard to Find."
"The novelist with Christian concerns will find in modern life distortions which are repugnant to him, and his problem will be to make them appear as distortions to an audience which is used to seeing them as natural; and he may be forced to take ever more violent means to get his vision across to this hostile audience.

When you can assume that your audience holds the same beliefs you do, you can relax a little and use more normal ways of talking to it; when you have to assume that it does not, then you have to make your vision apparent by shock — to the hard of hearing you shout, and for the blind you draw large and startling figures."
Flannery O'Connor [From the Flannery O'Connor Special Collection, via EDSITEment reviewed Internet Public Library]

O'Connor wrote this in the 50's but there are many resonances for today too.

When I look at the response of Jesus to the distorted loud ever- so politically correct and righteous worldview of the Pharisees, I wonder if Christ's enigmatic withdrawal is the best option, at least for a while. 

Sometimes absence is better than presence and the less said the better.... 

That well known saying by Ralph Waldo Emerson, "What you do speaks so loudly, I can’t hear what you are saying” often applies to the tenor of religious discourse these days.
Today in the institutional church we are faced with many who demonstrate that what they say means nothing. Yet many of them don't even realise the inconsistency they demonstrateSo too, on an individual level, I know I am guilty of this.
I am so tired of talking about reform...

Catherine de Hueck Doherty was the foundress of the Madonna House apostolate in Canada. She died in 1985. In her book The Gospel Without compromise she wrote :

 "Some men are burying Christ, and some are studying Him. Men are both bothered by Him and cannot leave Him alone...Whatever label we want to put on these times, we of the West who have heard the gospel have certainly not incarnated the teaching of Christ in whom we profess to believe."


No comments: