16th Week in Ord. Time, Monday – 19th July 2021 — Gospel: Mt 12,38-42
Past References for Future Awareness
The scribes and Pharisees seek a sign whether God is with Jesus and that He has authority to do what He is doing. Jesus criticizes them for their lack of faith and in turn gives references to people and events of the past. These references are meant to provoke awareness of their need to convert. Signs, prophets, and God’s message to repent have been offered throughout history. Jesus invites his followers to recognize and believe in the greatest love-sign to be manifested through his death and resurrection. He compares himself to Jonah, the prophet who preached conversion. He also claims that he is even greater than Jonah and wiser than Solomon. He points out that God’s message of repentance has been accepted in the past by the foreign city, Nineveh and rejected at present by the religious leaders of the Israelites. Jesus firmly forewarns that our resistance to conversion will lead to our condemnation. At the same time, his recalling of the past invites us to be patient as we await wisdom to recognize the signs already present in our lives.