The Good News for the Day, July 24, 2017
Monday of the Sixteenth Week of Ordinary Time (395)
Some of the educated people and some Pharisees said to Jesus, “Professor, we would like to see a sign from you.” He said to them by way of an answer, “An evil, immoral generation wants a sign! Well, no sign will be provided—except the sign of Prophet Jonah. Just as Jonah stayed in the belly of the whale three days and nights, so will the Child of Humanity be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights. In the end, the population of Nineveh will arise alongside this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them. Much more than Jonah is here. In the end, the Queen of the South will arise alongside this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear wisdom from Solomon; much more than Solomon is here.” (Matthew 12)
His enemies challenge Jesus about his teaching—addressing him, probably with sarcasm: “Professor!” When they ask for a sing, they are asking him for his credentials, his “scribe” or “Pharisee” diploma into their world. How can He speak with authority when he is uneducated in the techniques of scribal skills or the Torah of the Pharisees?
The sign Jesus gives them is his calling—like Jonah—but then he adds what is distinctive—“significant”—about his calling. He calls for people to LIVE AGAIN—to be transformed. Ordinary people “you as “son of man” (as a “Child of Humanity”) will die and rise. Like Jonah, you end what you were doing, descend into a weird darkness, emerge with New Life to preach the Good News by who you now are—“a son/daughter of God.”
You too died to your old life (their law used three days to be sure you were really dead). You have departed from “this generation,” into the mystery of a darkness. You too have come out of that dark time into light that now shines on others—radiating a deep happiness “generated” by God.