Jesus therefore said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” – John 4:48
For those of you who are getting on in years, such as myself :-), the title of today’s post comes from a song from 1970 called “Signs,” by the Canadian group, Five Man Electrical Band. In all honesty, I knew the song and some of its lyrics but had no idea who sang it (thank you, Google!). I share this Gospel passage with you (more to come on that) as it ties into an experience I had on Tuesday evening.
My wife and I attend Mass on Tuesday evening’s in the chapel of our church, St. Stephen. We have been doing so since arriving in the area a little over 4 months ago. It was a wonderful Mass with a beautiful homily by our pastor. The big difference is what I saw after Mass while praying the Rosary. I looked up at the cross and noticed this image:
This is the same cross that I look at every Tuesday evening and yet this was the first time I noticed these images; the 2 shadows of the cross. Maybe they had been there each time I gazed upon Him but maybe my attention was elsewhere, maybe I was not fully committed to the Mass on a particular evening and my thoughts were not where they needed to be. Tonight was different though. When I saw this “sign,” I could not help but think of the Trinity; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit represented by the cross and the two shadowy images of the cross. I believe it was the Lord saying to me, “Hey, Mike. I need your attention. Your full attention.” I turned to my wife and said to her, “I know what I am going to write about tomorrow.” He had my attention and He wanted me to get the attention of others.
How often do you and I miss the “signs?” More times than any of us would like to admit, I would guess. I believe the reason that we miss these signs is that we are not fully committed to Him, we are not giving every waking moment to Him and His glory. That sounds like an awful lot to give and of course, I would say “yes, it is.” But think about everything that He gave for us. Think about the pain, the anguish, the grief that Jesus had to go through in order to get our attention. Do you think if we had paid more attention, saw the signs more freely, things would have been different? I am sure the Lord would have been pleased if, in fact, we were more committed to our beliefs but the path that God set out for his only Son would not have changed. He died so we could have life!
“Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” (Jn 4:48). This passage needs to be taken into context, i.e., it is important to understand the verses before and after this one. An official from Galilee came down to see Jesus to help him heal his son. He and others who had gathered were looking for a sign, something that would confirm for them that Jesus could perform a miracle. Jesus simply said to him, “Go, your son will live.” (Jn 4:50). The man’s servants confirmed for him that his son was on the mend and he began to get better around the time when Jesus told him his son would live.
Do you believe, or do you believe that you believe? Yes, there are times when we need a sign to confirm His presence. There are times when we need a good rap on the back of the head to wake us up, to see the beauty of God’s presence that is all around us. Just as He sent his sign to me on Tuesday evening to wake me from my slumber, He may send one to you as well.
Be focused. Be attentive. Be present but most of all; Believe, just Believe!
Peace and Blessings.