Saturday, October 19, 2019

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time – Year B

Monday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

Today’s Audio Mass Readings – Lectionary: 395

1st Reading – MI 6:1-4, 6-8

Hear what the LORD says:
Arise, present your plea before the mountains,
and let the hills hear your voice!
Hear, O mountains, the plea of the LORD,
pay attention, O foundations of the earth!
For the LORD has a plea against his people,
and he enters into trial with Israel.

O my people, what have I done to you,
or how have I wearied you? Answer me!
For I brought you up from the land of Egypt,
from the place of slavery I released you;
and I sent before you Moses,
Aaron, and Miriam.

With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow before God most high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with myriad streams of oil?
Shall I give my first-born for my crime,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
You have been told, O man, what is good,
and what the LORD requires of you:
Only to do the right and to love goodness,
and to walk humbly with your God.

Responsorial Psalm – PS 50:5-6, 8-9, 16BC-17, 21 AND 23

R. (23b) To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Gather my faithful ones before me,
those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his justice;
for God himself is the judge.
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you,
for your burnt offerings are before me always.
I take from your house no bullock,
no goats out of your fold.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“Why do you recite my statutes,
and profess my covenant with your mouth,
Though you hate discipline
and cast my words behind you?”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.
“When you do these things, shall I be deaf to it?
Or do you think that I am like yourself?
I will correct you by drawing them up before your eyes.
He that offers praise as a sacrifice glorifies me;
and to him that goes the right way I will show the salvation of God.”
R. To the upright I will show the saving power of God.

Alleluia – PS 95:8

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
If today you hear his voice,
harden not your hearts.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel – MT 12:38-42

Some of the scribes and Pharisees said to Jesus,
“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”
He said to them in reply,
“An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign,
but no sign will be given it
except the sign of Jonah the prophet.
Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights,
so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth
three days and three nights.
At the judgment, the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah;
and there is something greater than Jonah here.
At the judgment the queen of the south will arise with this generation
and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon;
and there is something greater than Solomon here.”

Catholic Daily Reflections

Seeking a Sign

“Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” He said to them in reply, “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it except the sign of Jonah the prophet.” Matthew 12:38-39

Jonah was the sign. He spent three days and nights in the belly of a whale. He certainly was presumed dead by those who threw him over the side of the boat. But the whale acted as an instrument of God’s will in that it brought Jonah to Nineveh to preach repentance. And they did repent and change their lives! The darkness of the belly of the whale, in the end, became a blessing and a sign for ages to come.

Fast forward from the story of Jonah to the story above when the followers of Jesus seek a sign from Him. They want some sort of “proof” of who He is. Or perhaps they are just curious and want to be “entertained” by a miracle. Whatever the case may be, Jesus makes it clear that the sign He will give is the sign of Jonah.

Clearly, the story of Jonah is a prefiguration of the death of Jesus; His three days in the tomb and His Resurrection. This is the sign that Jesus will offer and the sign that He continues to offer. It’s a sign of great hope when we perceive it properly.

However, very often we can fall into the same temptation as the followers of Jesus in the story above. Very often we also want a sign other than the signs Jesus gave us. We want some other proof from God of His will. We want Him to speak loudly and clearly. But that doesn’t always happen. More often what we experience is what appears to be silence from God. We may wonder, “Lord, where are You? Why don’t You speak to me?” But Jesus will speak to us in the same way. He will gently remind us of His life, death and Resurrection. He will remind us that we must believe in all that He has spoken, and even if we feel like we are in the belly of a whale or dead in a tomb, hope is not lost. God is present in all things and He is active and present to us even when He seems to be silent.

Reflect, today, upon how strong your faith is even though you may not get the sign from Heaven that you may want. You must be reminded that the Father spoke to you clearly through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus and this is the way He continues to speak to you today. Listen to that lesson and embrace the truths it proclaims. Even if you feel like you are in a tomb or God is silent, know He is not. He is speaking to you all the time. You just need to discern His voice.

Lord, help me to believe in You even though I do not see miracles or signs from Heaven. Help me to believe in You despite any doubts or weaknesses I have in life. Give me a firm faith to answer Your call in my life. Jesus, I trust in You.

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