Remember the school-going days..when there was the (usually considered as) “terrorizing” subject called as Mathematics?
One of the questions that would frequent in a Mathematics question paper, would be questions of the type…”Prove that…”
So some examples of these theorems or statements to be proven would be…
>> “Prove that” the sum of two even integers is even.
>> “Prove that” the square root of two, is an irrational number.
Such examples of proof require a precision in the logic and methodology, so as to arrive at the proper conclusion of the facts.
The Gospel of the Day presents a similar question of “prove that” nature.
> The Examiners posing the question: The people in the crowd
> The student facing the question: Jesus
> The statement to be proved: Prove that You, Jesus, are the Messiah, the Son of God.
> The nature of proof required: Through signs and miracles.
This student, Jesus has faced such similar tests many times before.
>> Many times in His life, He has been worked up by many to prove His status…
>> Many times in His life, He has been demanded things to prove His authority…
He is an experienced student.
On the Mount of the Temptations… (Lk 4: 1-13)
Satan demanded Jesus to “prove that” He was the Son of God…
… by working a miracle
… by bowing to Him
… by jumping down
While at ministry…
… the Pharisees and teachers of the Law asked Jesus to “prove that” He had the authority to forgive sins. (Lk 5:21)
… the disciples of John asked Jesus to “prove that” He was indeed the One who was to come or whether they should look for another (Lk 7:19)
… some in the crowd asked Jesus “to prove that” He worked wonders and even drove out demons by His own power, by asking for a sign from heaven (Lk 11:16)
The Student, Jesus….has already faced many such “to prove that” situations!
Today’s Gospel once again puts the Student, Jesus to the test “to prove that” He is the Messiah by a demand for signs!
Am I also a person who is guilty of making Jesus a student, by putting Him “to the test” by asking Him “to prove” many things in life…?
>> In times of sicknesses and pains… maybe I demand signs from the Lord to “prove that” He is indeed a Healing God.
>> In times of financial difficulties… maybe I demand signs from the Lord to “prove that” He is indeed a Provider God.
>> In times of mental tensions and worries… maybe I demand signs from the Lord to “prove that” He is indeed a Caring God.
>> In times of spiritual aridity and emptiness… maybe I demand signs from the Lord to “prove that” He is indeed a Living God.
Of course, from a human perspective…owing to our limitations and weakness, we do sometimes ask some signs or miracles or some wonders.
>> But these demands for sign and miracles should not become THE criteria for proving God’s Existence or even His Presence…
>> These demands for some external manifestations and wonders should not become THE yardstick for proving the might and power of God…
> We should not be holding God at ransom, by demanding signs
> We should not be hijacking God and demand miracles.
We rather need to look back into our lives, and see the various moments and the times when…
… He has caressed us with His affection
… He has nurtured us with His love
… He has filled us with His presence
The Lord gives to the people in the crowd, the signs and examples of the people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba.
The people of Nineveh and the Queen of Sheba…
… were gentiles
… were not the chosen people
… were not people who had a first-hand experience of God.
Yet, when they heard the preaching of Jonah and saw the glory of Solomon…they believed!
They did not demand miracles.. they did not demand signs….yet, they believed!
The Lord through today’s Gospel makes us to realize the worth and the value of the many wonders and the signs He has already worked in our lives.
> We sometimes might tend to take God’s blessings “for granted”
> We sometimes might tend to not consider God’s graces as “something big”
> We sometimes might tend to not able to even see something “special” in God’s favours .
Today is a chance for us to have a retrospective into our lives and see the many, maybe tiny and small, wonders and miracles the Lord has worked in our lives…
None can say, “I have no miracles in my life”!
>> From our birth, to our upbringing, our education, our formation, our works, our surroundings, our people…etc….. at every step, we have many miracles and signs of God!
The hand of the Lord is very much at large in our lives.
We don’t need to become a people which poses God with “prove that” type questions!
Let us see… Let us realize.. and Let us thank!
God Bless! Live Jesus!