“Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”

Staying in Matthew 12 (vv. 38-42) yesterday, we read of the Pharisees asking Jesus for a sign.  Jesus uses this opportunity to call them out: “An evil and unfaithful generation seeks a sign” (v. 39).  the only sign they will get will be that of Jonah (see above).  As the Pharisees do not realize who Jesus is, He says the repentant Ninevites and the queen of the South who traveled a great distance to hear Solomon will condemn them.  Jonah was the reluctant prophet who had to be swallowed by a whale and returned to Nineveh to prophesy.  Jesus was the willing victim who in love “humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross” (Phil 2:8).  Yet, despite this great sacrifice for us, “evil and unfaithful generations” have come and gone ever since the time of Christ.  Which others, besides the Ninevites and the queen of the South, who have converted because of Christ, will rise to condemn us if we do not repent?  Immorality flourishes, with no more egregious examples than the killing of our children and the breakdown of the family (to the point where even the idea of the family is perverted beyond recognition).  There is time, though.  We must be light to the world (Mt 5:14).  It may seem an uphill battle, and we may think we can’t do very much, “but for God all things are possible” (Mt 19:26).  Take heart!  The state of the Church looked bleak at the foot of the Cross; look what it has become.  So too our efforts, when united with God’s will, can move mountains (Mt 17:20).  Hope and love, not resignation and despondence, are required.  It starts with us.

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