Signs! Signs! Everywhere the signs!
The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.
— Mark 8:11-13
In our world today we are inundated with a barrage of signs. We are constantly being solicited by signs that encourage change, fashion, consumer products, political views, movies, and the list goes on and on. What are the signs you are paying most attention to? What signs catch your eye or your interest most often? Jesus warns that this seeking a sign in everything can be detrimental to our growing in faith. It makes it really difficult to have complete and total trust when we are always looking for the next sign. Even in our prayer, we often ask for a sign, not much different than the Pharisees. Have you ever asked Jesus in prayer to show you a sign that He has heard you? Have you ever tested Jesus and said something like, “If you do me this one favor I will believe”?
Why does Jesus not want to give us a sign? He is the sign! We need nothing more than Jesus and He is telling us that He is with us! I guess the next question then would be, what else could we ever want? Jesus offers us eternal life. Jesus offers us truth and goodness and beauty. Jesus offers us an intimate communion that never leaves us hungry or thirsty for more. What Jesus is saying to you and me this weekend is that He is all we will ever need.
So, whatever it is we are looking for, be it happiness or love or the truth of who we really are, we need not look any further, for Jesus is “the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). If we are honest with ourselves, we have all been searching for more, for depth and meaning. And we have all been reading too many of the empty signs around us. There is no better time than now to pay attention, to notice Jesus showing you His sign, the sign of the cross with His arms wide open to you. And listen to His voice, and His voice alone saying to you:
“Come to me all you who labor and are burdened and I will give you rest.”
— Matthew 11:28-30
“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
— John 4: 13-14