Greater than Jonah
21 February 2018
We all seem to ask for signs from time to time, maybe because they tend to give us greater certainty in what we believe. Apparitions, miracles and other sensational events seem to be important not only for the contemporaries of Jesus but also for us.
In today’s gospel, Jesus tells the crowd that they will receive no sign, except the sign of Jonah, which was a prophetic code for his death and resurrection.
When we understand what we have received through Christ’s death and resurrection – we realize it is so much more than the laconic preaching of Jonah. In fact, we have received something greater than the preaching of all the prophets of Israel and even the preaching of John the Baptist. We have received the Word of God – the Bread of Life. We have received the Sacraments. We have received Salvation.
Everything Jesus said and did, in one way or another, is an anticipation of his resurrection. The God of Israel, the God of Jesus Christ, is a God of life, a God of the living. He hates death and the ways of death.
Jesus heals blind eyes and deaf ears and crippled limbs; he illuminates darkened minds; he liberates imprisoned souls. His ministry is a ministry of life, of the triumph of life over death.
Jonah preached to the Ninevites, and they were converted. Jesus preaches to us today through the gospel and the Church. We have a greater than Jonah among us. We today have Jesus Christ who with His words and works God the Father raised from the dead.
We have a greater than Jonah among us today.