The Pharisees were looking for a sign, in the Gospel today, definitive proof of the identity and mission of Jesus. They lacked faith and trust in him. They were curious but also suspicious and felt threatened. They wanted answers. They saw his works but wanted evidence of his divinity.
If you are reading this, it is because you believe, and belief in Jesus requires no proof. ‘Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed’ (John 20:29), as Jesus told us. Think of the travels of the Apostles and the early missionaries in foreign lands, proclaiming Christ to people who never saw Jesus or witnessed the miracles he wrought. Yet the power was in his Word. The power of the Holy Spirit was experienced through the faith of those sent to speak the Word of God; the power was in their passion, their compassion, their sacrifice and in many cases, their martyrdom. We are a family of believers now, because of those who have gone before us in faith and have testified to the truth.
According to St. James in the first reading, when we are in doubt, ‘…we are like a wave in the sea, driven and tossed about by the wind.’ Being in two minds about the presence, protection and mercy of God leaves us vulnerable in every storm, but it is in our steadfast belief, our trust and hope, that we find stability and develop strength for perseverance. Placing ourselves in God’s hands requires surrender to his will. However, this surrender is not a sign of weakness, it is a sign of courage. Faith, trust, and humility, especially in times of uncertainty, are not for the faint of heart.
As St. James advises, if you are struggling, or faltering in your faith in God, don’t ask for proof, ask for wisdom. And expect God to act in your life, without a shred of doubt.