Faith Daily |19 July 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - PENTECOST APBA p563
you alone can order our unruly wills and affections:
teach us to love what you command,
and to desire what you promise,
that, among the changes and chances of this world,
our hearts may surely there be fixed
where true joys are to be found;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 12: 38-42
38Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so for three days and three nights the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth. 41The people of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the proclamation of Jonah, and see, something greater than Jonah is here! 42The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to listen to the wisdom of Solomon, and see, something greater than Solomon is here!
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Meredith Nicholls
As Jesus had performed many miracles that the Pharisees had already witnessed, one can only imagine the testing of his patience here. I wondered if a mark of his frustration was the giving of a very ambiguous sign of his death and resurrection ‘…so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’ Jesus drew a comparison with the three days and nights that Jonah the prophet spent in the belly of a huge fish prior to a resurrection (of sorts).
Jesus’ disciples had difficulty comprehending his coming death and resurrection and they were told quite plainly so I believe these words would have been completely incomprehensible to the Pharisees.
Jesus then speaks plainly of Jonah and Nineveh’s godly response to his prophecy. He then drew their attention to the fact that a famous monarch from a distant country had travelled an enormous distance to listen to Solomon’s wisdom. Someone far greater than the prophet and the queen now stood in front of them.
Was it pride, an immovable conviction that they held all truth, or hidden insecurity and fear that ‘blinded’ these religious leaders?
‘Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.’ (Mt13: 13).
FINAL PRAYER: Meredith Nichols
Reveal to us any stumbling blocks or hindrances that we may have that prevent us from truly believing and knowing in our hearts that you are the Christ, the Son of Man. Amen.