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Alessandra RoseFebruary 09, 2024
Photo from Unsplash.

A Reflection for Wednesday of the First Week of Lent

Find today’s readings here.

I am going to be honest. I am a bit haunted by the first few lines of today’s Gospel reading: “While still more people gather 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.’”

I am uneasy because what Jesus said to the crowd of Ninevites so long ago, he could just as easily be saying to me, or perhaps to any of us. Every time I pick up my phone and log into my social media accounts, I am on the hunt for instant information—the latest political scandal, up-to-the-minute stock market data, the most recent vacation destination of a Facebook friend. But what am I really looking for? What am I hoping to find?

When I reflect earnestly, I can’t help but admit that my constant search through the many transactional, temporary and materialistic metrics moves me farther away from God.

When I reflect earnestly, I can’t help but admit that my constant search through the many transactional, temporary and materialistic metrics moves me farther away from God. Not only does it prevent the quiet contemplation that can help make his presence more palpable, but it also threatens my sense of what is truly valuable and what is not.

Most importantly, though, the lesson for me in today’s Gospel is that signs of God’s abiding companionship and goodness aren’t going to come in the shape of someone’s fancy BMW, or an admissions letter to Georgetown, or a million-dollar bonus. Rather, his signs are more subtle—the kindness of a stranger, a beautiful sunrise, or the laughter of a child—yet more enduring and far more meaningful. Taking this message from Luke with me, I am going to try to focus on finding those signs and reveling in the promise that they hold; I invite you to do the same.

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