Tuesday, March 15, 2011

“This Generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign” Homily for Tuesday of the Second Week of Lent: Living Bread Radio


St. John of the Cross is a mystic and doctor of the church. Now with mystics we usually trust that they have an understanding of signs and how to read them. St. John of the Cross who we hold to such a high regard says “The more the soul believes in and serves God without testimonies and signs, the more it extols God, since it believes more of him than signs and miracles can teach it. “ He devotes whole chapters to negating signs in accordance with the scripture “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign.”

God never works these marvels except when they are necessity for believing. Lest his disciples go without merit by having sensible proof of his resurrection, he did many things to further their belief before they saw him. Mary Magdalene was first to shown the empty sepulcher, and afterward the angels told her about the resurrection so she would, by hearing, believe before seeing. As St. Paul says; faith come through hearing (Romans 10:17). And though she beheld him, he seemed only an ordinary man, so by the warmth of his presence he could finish instructing her in the belief she was lacking. And the women were sent to tell the disciples first; then the disciples sought out to see the sepulcher. And journeying incognito to Emmaus with two of his followers, he inflamed their hearts in faith before allowing them to see. Finally he reproved his disciples for refusing to believe those who had told them of his resurrection. And announcing to St. Thomas that they are blessed who believe without seeing; he reprimanded him for desiring to experience the sight and touch of his wounds.

Thus God is not inclined to work miracles. When he works them he does so, as they say, out of necessity. He consequently reprimanded the Pharisees because they would not give ascent without signs: “If you do not see signs and wonders, you do not believe John 4:48). Signs and miracles are for those whose faith is weak. So yes at times when our faith is weak God may strengthen it with signs and miracles, but the idea is that we are to grow in our faith and move beyond them. That we may truly believe in God for who He is beyond any sign or miracle. Those, then who love to rejoice in these supernatural works suffer a great loss of faith. Don’t seek signs and miracles. Seek the Lord Jesus himself.

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