(How does today’s Gospel speak to me during this lockdown? Allow me to share a humble reflection.)
The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him.” (Mark 8:11)
Back in Jewish territory, Jesus is immediately assailed by the Pharisees. Despite all the signs he has given to date (exorcisms, healings and teachings), they demand an even greater sign, something spectacular. However, their mind is already closed; their request springs from mistrust, not from interest. Their understanding of God simply doesn’t align with that of Jesus. They are looking for a powerful, majestic, magician God; Jesus reveals a God of compassion and service who chooses to be close to the humble. The Pharisees and Jesus are not on the same page.
How wonderful it would be if God intervened with an extraordinary sign to end the pandemic. I would no longer have to endure confinement, masks and distancing, the sick would all be healed and humanity would believe in God! But the God of Jesus doesn’t correspond to my dreams. Rather, God is present in humble acts of service, in daily compassion, in gentle words and attentive patience.
Abba, Father, you revealed your glory and your majesty in the silence of Good Friday. You don’t dominate, you serve. You don’t impose yourself, you love. Free me from any false images I may have of you, so that I may discover you in the humble service of my brothers and sisters.