Suppose you are a mother or father working two jobs every day to meet the needs of your family. You seldom socialize with your former friends and classmates to spend more time with your children. Instead of buying new clothes for yourself, you save the money for your daughter's birthday celebration. Then, one day, your daughter says: "Mom, Dad, give me a sign that you truly love me." How would you feel?
Sometimes, we even ask the Lord if He loves us. For me, the most significant sign of His love is our existence and being created in His image and likeness.
Recognizing the Signs
Signs are part of the human experience. We operate through signs. We need signs for us to be guided and educated. We need signs on the road to get us around. Our ability to recognize and comprehend signs is a reflection of our maturity in life, particularly in faith. However, paying close attention to the most significant sign of all is essential.
Jesus is the perfect embodiment of God's presence and love. In Jesus, the sign is the reality, and the messenger is the message.
Jesus Inspires and Transforms
The crowds around Jesus grew more prominent as He profoundly affected them. His teachings resonated with them, making them recognize Him as someone special, and many followed Him, feeling inspired and transformed. Most were genuinely empowered by Him. It is why they "converted" to Him and changed their lives. He awakened something in them. His dynamics became theirs.
It didn't happen to all of them. Some came to trap Him. They asked for more signs.
There are immense depths in us. There are fantastic possibilities and realities that remain hidden if we are not stimulated by someone else. Jesus himself said: “I have come to bring fire on earth, and how I wish it were already kindled" (Luke 12:49).
We may ignore genuine evidence of God’s love by focusing too much on finding signs. We may have lost our ability to recognize truth, making us ask for signs instead. Requesting a sign is an easy way out instead of walking the path with Jesus. Isn't this the point Jesus makes when He tells us, "No sign will be given except the sign of Jonah"? Jesus is the "sign of Jonah": He lived, died, and rose from the dead, His three days of entombment echoing Jonah's time in the belly of the whale.
There is indeed something greater than Jonah here. God used the reluctant prophet with the fantastic story to convert an entire pagan city, but the plan for our redemption came from the Lord's cross and Resurrection—greater stakes and greater suffering with much greater results. This is no fish tale.
When and how do we begin to live His energy and love? Do we, too, need more signs?
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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.
Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.