While still more people gathered 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. Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. At the judgment the queen of the south will rise with the men of this generation and she will condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and there is something greater than Solomon here. At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.”
AN EVIL GENERATION… SEEKS A SIGN. In revealing to a woman the source of true blessedness, Jesus declares that the appropriate response to his preaching is not admiration for him as a person but the “hearing and keeping of God’s word.” He is a prophet who brings God’s word to the people who are called to receive the message with faith and repentance. Repentance is the fruit of the realization that God is addressing his people. This is a grace that can be received only in one’s unworthiness. As the prophets of old experienced, before God’s revelation of his holiness, one could only see oneself as a person of “unclean lips” (Is 6:5).
Jesus calls the crowd gathered around him an “evil generation.” Rather than seeing the ministry of Jesus as the sign of the entry of the Kingdom of God in their lives and hence calling for repentance, they see it as some kind of “entertainment”—they look for more miracles, other than what they have seen Jesus doing. They feel that they are a privileged lot for having a prophet in their midst. Their fate will be similar to those knocking at the door of the Kingdom, assured of entry because of their association with Jesus: “We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets” (Lk 13:26). But they will receive this reply: “I do not know where [you] are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!” (Lk 13:27).
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: [email protected]; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.