The Gospel Today
Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
While still more people gathered in the crowd, Jesus said to them,
“This generation is an evil generation;
it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it,
except the sign of Jonah.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At the judgment
the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation
and she will condemn them,
because she came from the ends of the earth
to hear the wisdom of Solomon,
and there is something greater than Solomon here.
At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation
and condemn it,
because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
Reflection (Sem. John Paul S. Adia)
Why do I have a penchant for asking for signs? I remember the time when I took my nursing licensure examination. No matter how firm I was in convincing myself to let God intervene for the result, I could not help but ask Him for a sign that would prepare me for whatever the result might be.
Was it bad? Did it signify unbelief in God’s guidance? I know that it was a moment of holding on to God but my anxieties always came creeping in. In a way, this was the same feeling I had when I asked myself if I would pursue or run away from this vocation. Funny but I also asked for a sign. A make-believe assurance from my anxieties and troubles.
What prevents me from believing? Today’s Gospel helps me in understanding why there are times when it is hard to trust or believe in God. I am filled with anxieties. I felt like whatever effort I exert, there is always this possibility of failure. But in facing these, I trust my effort. I trust my skills. I believe in my intellect. And, I find my security in my own self, giving a feeling that these anxieties can be solved all by myself.
My life outside molded me to create my own shield from difficulties, meaning I can secure myself and solve things through my effort. But through God’s graciousness, He lets me experience difficulties bigger than what I can handle to draw me back to entrusting myself to Him. And the biggest turn in my life is entering the seminary formation.
When I entered the seminary, my anxiety became stronger. I left my job, family and life. Things became unassured. But in these experiences, God has called me to entrust myself to Him.
I admit that there are still times when I find it hard to hold on to His security. We always say that staying in the seminary is never a guarantee for ordination. This might be the uncertainty that leads me to still feel unassured. But the seminary formation helped me so much in peeling out the resistances that hinder me from giving myself to God totally. Indeed, this let me see that even every minute and every second of my day can be uncertain.
But despite that, God will remain faithful to me. This led me to formulate my mantra: “When things become uncertain, let God be my certainty. Let God surprise me.”