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Homily

WEDNESDAY (1st week of Lent: Lk 11:29-32; Jonah 3:1-10): THE GENERATION THAT SEEKS A SIGN
By Augustine Agwulonu
Wed, 17 Feb 2016

WEDNESDAY (1st week of Lent: Lk 11:29-32; Jonah 3:1-10): THE GENERATION THAT SEEKS A SIGN

The Lord indicts "this generation." He calls it evil because it seeks a sign. But why does it seek a sign? And why would none be given to it? The reason is because, just like the devil tempted Jesus in the desert, seeking a sign: "if you are God's Son, then turn these stones into bread (Lk 4:3)." And just as Jesus did not give the devil the sign it sought, because it was ill motivated, so Jesus would not give "this generation" any signs. However, according to The Lord, the only sign "this generation" will receive is that of Jonah.

And who is Jonah? Then why would "this generation" be given, not just the sign of Jonah but only it? Jonah is an Old Testament prophet who preached repentance to the people of Niniveh. The reason is because, unlike the devil, Jesus desires "this generation" to repent and escape destruction. Jesus wishes to show this generation mercy and save it. Upon hearing Jonah preach, the people of Niniveh sat in ashes and did penance for their sins. The Lord had pity on them and saved their city from destruction. The people of Niniveh never asked Jonah for any signs. They simply recognized the truth he preached and repented. But why? The reason is because the people of Niniveh were not presumptuous. They did not claim to be self-righteous. They were honest to themselves. They realized their sinfulness and accepted the help offered it without hesitation. This is how The Lord encourages this generation to act. If the people of Niniveh could act based on the strength of Jonah's proclamation, then how much quicker should "this generation" act, for someone greater than Jonah is here?

But it seems fashionable today for people to pursue illusion instead of accepting the truth. Our generation prefers colored illusion to the plain truth. The reason is because this generation feels enlightened. It believes it has acquired knowledge about life, and it has mastered the world. Any generation that seeks a sign from Jesus is a faithless one. It is irredeemable. If it will not learn from the people of Niniveh, then it is doomed.

The method of religion is different from that of science and technology. So, if our generation wishes to practice religion like science and technology, then it would miss the purpose and goal of religion. Presumption and the search for a scientific practice of religion run contrary to the values of religion. Religion is larger than science. The reason is because of the object of religion who is God. There is no man made telescope that can capture the greatness of God, as a microscope captures bacteria. It is only faith that can help us to know God so that we do not depend on a sign to accept his Son, Jesus Christ The Lord.

So, The Lord is inviting us today to believe his message, to trust him and to obey his directives and instructions. Then it shall be well with us.

 

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