In our Gospel today, Mark 8:11-13, the Pharisees came to Jesus and demanded a sign from heaven to test him, and prove that he was from God. In reality, they wanted to discredit and destroy Jesus because he was against everything they stood for – clericalism, elitism, exclusion, discrimination, and their focus on enforcing rules instead of showing mercy.
Jesus sighed from the depths of his spirit at the hardness of their hearts, because he knew that no sign he could give them would change their minds and hearts that were already made up against him. Jesus had the power to perform any miracle he wanted, but he knew it would not change their hearts, so he left them without a sign.
When we believe in Jesus, and are open to him, he often gives us signs. In my life, they are not direct orders, they are more subtle, and require discernment to fully understand them. They come in the form of a comment from a friend, a song I hear, a scene in nature that takes my breath away, a conversation with my spiritual director, or other forms.
Sometimes when we don’t get a sign in the way we want, or in the timing we want, out of frustration we scream, “God, just give me a sign!”. That’s not how God works. He gave us free will. He waits for us to form our will to his will through discernment. Let us be patient, and wait for God’s time, because it’s always perfect!
De Colores, Deacon Kevin