The short gospel reading (Mk 8:11-13) takes up where Saturday’s left off. After feeding the four thousand Jesus and His disciples went by boat to Dalmanutha. Apparently immediately some Pharisees confront Jesus (as we have seen, a recurring theme in Mark). Jesus is asked by the Pharisees to give them a sign from heaven. He responds with the line above and tells them they will not get a sign. How often do we seek a sign? If, God, You only do this or that, I will believe. If you heal me I will totally dedicate myself to You. If my spouse pulls through this disease, I will work constantly for You. Let us not ask the Lord to prove Himself. He already has since the beginning of time. Can we ask for things? Of course; God wants to know our heart’s desire. Our fervent prayers are always heard. But remember: “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Mt 6:8 — immediately followed by the Our Father so a good prayer for us when asking for a special intention). And, believe it or not, He knows what is best for us better than we do. The operative words are assent, submission, and humility. Trust God fully, regardless of our desired outcome, and all will be well. And if we have trouble seeing it or understanding it in this life, we will certainly be enlightened in the next. We do not want to have happen to us what happened to the Pharisees: Jesus immediately left for another region. Who knows what great works He would have performed there if He wasn’t rebuffed. In our day, we don’t want to remove ourselves from Him due to our lack of faith.