Readings: Jonah 3:1-10; Luke 11:29-32
Scripture: Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. (Luke 11:30)
Reflection: We are a people who like signs—literal and figurative. How would we get anywhere these days without the trusty GPS barking out commands as we drive into the unknown? We like things spelled out for us, preferably in flashing neon, and we expect God to do the same. And yet, how often do we ignore the glaring spiritual signposts that dot the landscape of our lives, attempting to lead us on right paths or warn us away from dangerous curves? We ask God to send us a sign, but when we get one, we balk and look for the more convenient sign, the easier way. We think we know better—until we realize we don’t.
Like the people of Nineveh, we’re not going to come around until someone lands on our doorstep and tells us flat out, and even then we might take issue. But God never gives up on us. Not in Nineveh, not in Galilee, not in our hometown today. God dogs us, relentless in his love, convinced of our goodness, sure that we are worth saving—so sure, in fact, that his Son will die on a cross as a sign of that love. Is there any greater sign than the cross? We hang the cross in our home, wear it around our neck, and still we lose our way. There is only one sign worth heeding. The way of the cross is our way to eternal life.
Meditation: Find a crucifix. Make that the focus of your prayer today. Look at it, meditate on it, hold it in your hand so that its reality is unavoidable. While it’s important to have the cross visible in the place where we live and, if possible, at work, the danger is that it becomes part of the background noise, like wallpaper. Today we’re going to retrieve the cross from its visual outpost and bring it back to the center of our lives. Keep an eye out for the crosses that are hidden in unlikely places throughout your day. There are signs everywhere, if we’re willing to look.
Prayer: Wounded Savior, we thank you for offering your body, your being, your life on our behalf. Forgive us for the times we’ve taken the cross for granted. Help us, beginning anew today, to live by the sign of the cross, the only way to salvation.
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