The One Sign

The gospel from today’s readings has always been interesting to me: “While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them, ‘This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.’” (Luke 11:29-32) Continue reading

The Sign

There are no miracles in the Gospel of John. Well, at least he does not call them as such. John seems to assiduously avoid calling them miracles, preferring to call them “signs.” In fact the first part of the Gospel of John is called the “Book of Signs” – and there are seven.

  • Changing water into wine in John 2:1-11
  • Healing the royal official’s son in Capernaum in John 4:46-54
  • Healing the paralytic at Bethesda in John 5:1-18
  • Feeding the 5000 in John 6:5-14
  • Jesus’ walk on water in John 6:16-24
  • Healing the man born blind in John 9:1-7
  • Raising of Lazarus in John 11:1-45

Each sign is meant, not only to grab your attention, but to serve as a pointer, not that which has just transpired, but to the person of Jesus. The signs also serve to point to a choice.
That has been the motif in the Gospel of John all along. At the end of the first sign, the words of the Blessed Virgin Mother in the story from Cana make it evident. Her last words in the Gospel of John are the clearest and most poignant sign: “This is my son, do what he tells you.” She points to the person of Jesus and points to the choice each will have to make: do what he tells you. Every disciples, every reader, each one who hears this Book of Signs is brought to that moment where choices are made to follow, or not, the one who is the Living Word of God made flesh, Jesus Christ. Continue reading