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FEB. 15. ORDINARY TIME (B) WK. 6. MON. MK. 8. 11-13.

Updated: Aug 24

The Pharisees came up and started a discussion with Jesus; they demanded of him a sign from heaven, to test him. And with a sigh that came straight from the heart he said, ‘Why does this generation demand a sign? I tell you solemnly, no sign shall be given to this generation.’ And leaving them again and re-embarking, he went away to the opposite shore.


The issue raised here is a common one, even in 2021, namely the demand of non-believers for a “sign” that the teachings of Christ, and his claimed Divinity, should be believed, with the implication that ‘after we see this sign; - we will believe”!


Actually, the request is quite reasonable for an unbeliever as we live in a society which seeks “evidence” or “proof” of every claim, and without such evidence people will just not believe.


The only weakness in this argument however, when it comes to the Christian Faith, is that there has been abundant evidence provided; - but the unbelievers prefer to ignore this simple truth.


Those who do not believe also need to give an explanation for their refusal to believe; - why are you unable to see the multitude of “signs” that have already been provided? The only satisfactory answer to this question is they are both blind and stubborn.


The multitude of “signs” they have already been provided with are the numerous miracles that Christ has already performed; - and in front of large multitudes; - and one is entitled to ask why the unbelievers choose to ignore these?


Immediately before this challenge from the Pharisees, Christ provided them with a very clear “sign”, in that, after speaking with five thousand people on an isolated mountain Christ “produced” enough food to feed them all!


It would be hard to imagine a more convincing “sign”, but as we know there were many more instances, including the raising of Lazarus from the dead, and multitudes of examples where sick and crippled people were restored to good health; - instantly, on Christ’s command.


This is a serious issue here for unbelievers, as Christ did provide many signs; - and he did this for the specific reason; - to demonstrate that he was sent by God and, as a result of the multitude of “signs”; - he should be believed.


He agreed with the Pharisees that “signs” were necessary. The only issue remaining then was to ask them why they were unable to “see” all the signs that had already been reported to them!


Even my own Faith, in 2021, is founded on these same signs, in that they demonstrate Christ is who he claims to be, namely the Son of God, with the ultimate “sign” being his rising from the dead after the Crucifixion.


The real reason the Pharisees, and multitudes of unbelievers today, do not believe is because of the implications that follow from becoming a believer! As soon as someone says “I believe” they are required to follow the teachings of Christ, and that is the real obstacle to their believing!


People are very reluctant to turn away from “The World, The Flesh, and The Devil!


Gospel Acclamation Jn14:16


Alleluia, alleluia!

I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord;

no one comes to the Father except through me.

Alleluia!


First reading Genesis 4:1-15,25 The mark of Cain


The man had intercourse with his wife Eve, and she conceived and gave birth to Cain. ‘I have acquired a man with the help of the Lord’ she said. She gave birth to a second child, Abel, the brother of Cain. Now Abel became a shepherd and kept flocks, while Cain tilled the soil. Time passed and Cain brought some of the produce of the soil as an offering for the Lord, while Abel for his part brought the first-born of his flock and some of their fat as well. The Lord looked with favour on Abel and his offering. But he did not look with favour on Cain and his offering, and Cain was very angry and downcast. The Lord asked Cain, ‘Why are you angry and downcast? If you are well disposed, ought you not to lift up your head? But if you are ill disposed, is not sin at the door like a crouching beast hungering for you, which you must master?’ Cain said to his brother Abel, ‘Let us go out’; and while they were in the open country, Cain set on his brother Abel and killed him.


The Lord asked Cain, ‘Where is your brother Abel?’ ‘I do not know’ he replied. ‘Am I my brother’s guardian?’ ‘What have you done?’ the Lord asked. ‘Listen to the sound of your brother’s blood, crying out to me from the ground. Now be accursed and driven from the ground that has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood at your hands. When you till the ground it shall no longer yield you any of its produce. You shall be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth.’ Then Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is greater than I can bear. See! Today you drive me from this ground. I must hide from you, and be a fugitive and a wanderer over the earth. Why, whoever comes across me will kill me!’ ‘Very well, then,’ the Lord replied ‘if anyone kills Cain, sevenfold vengeance shall be taken for him.’ So the Lord put a mark on Cain, to prevent whoever might come across him from striking him down.


Adam had intercourse with his wife, and she gave birth to a son whom she named Seth, ‘because God has granted me other offspring’ she said ‘in place of Abel, since Cain has killed him.’





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