The Gospel Today
Wednesday of the First Week in Lent
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. Enrico Terrel):
As creatures endowed with intellect and free will, we, human beings, have the capability and freedom to seek and pursue knowledge, understanding and wisdom. It is no wonder why people read books that they may learn new ideas. The same is true for students who go to school that they may be educated. One good way to prepare for life is by educating oneself and honing one’s skills. Growing in knowledge, understanding and wisdom is good. However, it is not the end all and be all of life.
In the Gospel narrative, Jesus Christ mentions the queen of the south who went all the way just to see and converse with the wise King Solomon. Furthermore, Jesus adds that the queen will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them because the crowd fail to value the wisdom coming from the teachings of Jesus. Definitely, the wisdom of Christ is much greater than the wisdom of King Solomon. But in terms of consequences, it seems that the wisdom of Solomon has a more positive effect on the queen as compared to Jesus’ wisdom on the people. The First Book of Kings puts it that the queen gave gold, spices and precious stones to Solomon after their dialogue. In the case of the Jews, their continuous demand for a sign from Jesus manifests their unbelief.
The world we have today teaches us various kinds of ideologies. It teaches relativism wherein what is true and good for one person may not necessarily be true and good for the other. It also teaches emotivism wherein what is good for you depends on what and how you feel about it. If a person feels good about a particular thing, regardless of its morality, one should pursue it. Others would say that one should enjoy as much as he can now because everything ends at death. People might be advancing in terms of ideas but they are becoming ignorant of the absolute Wisdom that Jesus is the Way to Salvation, the Truth that can never be suppressed and the Life that we should all strive to emulate. In a world that is afflicted by poverty and deteriorating moral standards, the one thing that we should demand for is the presence of Jesus in His Word and the Eucharist that we would have the strength and courage to overcome the trials of the present times. Otherwise, we are not finding the Wisdom that brings us enlightenment, fulfilment and meaning. Apart from Christ, all that we have are nothing.