A Greater than Jonah or Solomon (Mt 12:38-42)
O Lord, I seek no sign or wonder. I seek only you.
Picture Jesus speaking to the crowds.
Jesus’ enemies ask for a sign but Jesus addresses this teaching to the crowds. He cites two Old Testament examples of foreigners having a change of heart. When Jonah preached in Nineveh (a perennial enemy of Israel) the people repented. When the Queen of Ethiopia came to see Solomon, she was totally impressed with his wisdom and the glory of the temple.
Gospel Text: (Read slowly, possibly aloud.)
Jesus said to the crowd, “This is a wicked generation because it looks for a sign. No sign shall be given except the sign of Jonah, the prophet. As Jonah was a sign to the Ninevites, so shall the Son of Man be to this generation. The Queen of the South shall rise in judgment against the men of this generation and shall condemn them because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon. Behold, a greater than Solomon is here. At judgment the citizens of Nineveh will rise in judgment against this generation and shall condemn it. They did penance at the preaching of Jonah and a greater than Jonah is here.
Thoughts: (Read all. Ponder the ones that attract you.)
- People want signs to satisfy their intellect. Really, they should be surrendering their heart.
- A sign does not bring repentance, just curiosity.
- Jesus gives the whole world the sign of his rising from the dead. Like Jonah, Jesus will be three days in the belly of the tomb.
- Jesus cites the change of heart of the Queen of Sheba. She repented just by hearing Solomon speak.
- What is Solomon’s wisdom compared with Jesus’?
- The hated Ninevites repented when Jonah spoke. Who is Jonah compared to Jesus?
- Jesus speaks about that important moment when every person in history will come before him in judgment.
- On that day, the Queen and the Ninevites (both non-Jewish) will condemn those Jews (and us) who did not repent.
Affections: (When one touches your heart, use your own words.)
- O Jesus, give me no sign. Just give me yourself.
- You are risen from the dead and I will rise with you. Alleluia!
- Change my heart, Jesus. Turn me totally to Your way of life.
- If they repented when Jonah preached, can I not repent at your word?
- If the Queen believed in Solomon, should I not believe in you?
- The only unchangeable moment, Jesus, is when I come before you.
- I will be your friend and no one will condemn me.
Resolutions: (Possibly you might want to make your own)
+ I will think today about this Sign of Jonah – the miracle of Jesus’ rising.
+ I will ponder Jesus’ greatness.
Thought for the Day: (To recall your meditation.)
A greater than Jonah or Solomon is here.