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Micah 6:1-4, 6-8
Psalm 50:5-6, 8-9, 16bc-17, 21+23
Matthew 12:38-42

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees said to him, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.”

I, too, would like a sign. As a scientist, I am trained to examine evidence. Propositions should be testable. Hypotheses are developed on the basis of previous observations and confirmed on the basis of new data. Perhaps this was the demand of the scribes and Pharisees. Perhaps the point of the Gospel was to foreshadow three days of Jesus in the tomb. Perhaps the point was to identify problems with those who did not recognize Jesus’ role in salvation history. Still, my impression is Jesus’ response in today’s Gospel takes the conversation in a very different direction.

The metaphor that Jesus is using in the Gospel is that of the unfaithful spouse. When understood this way, a sign has a very different meaning. In a relationship, we generally do not ask our partner to prove their love. Nevertheless in a relationship there is the expectation of faithfulness and the expectation that a certain attention is given. A relationship survives only when both sides are investing time and attentiveness with the other.

I can easily imagine myself in the role of someone in the Gospel’s crowd. I do not hear a call for evidence from God as I saw in my first cursory reading of today’s Gospel. Rather than hearing a call testing faith, I heard a call for faithfulness. I hear a call to give God the attention that a relationship with God deserves. I see the comfort that a relationship brings. I see the promise that this is not a one-sided relationship. I am brought to feel God’s contribution to the relationship.

The Psalm builds on the idea of the covenant, a two-sided agreement. I feel Jesus takes this idea of an agreement and goes farther, seeing it as a relationship. I see a similar direction in the reading from Micah. The reading takes the form of a legal exchange, but it moves to the idea of the reestablishment of a relationship.

My prayers today are for the growth of relationships. I pray for the ability to recognize the occasions for going beyond commitments. I pray to see the opportunities for being inclusive and welcoming. I pray for the awareness and dedication to my relationships both with my God and with my fellowman.

By Mark Cheyman

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)