“Now there was a royal official whose son was ill in Capernaum. When he heard that Jesus had arrived in Galilee from Judea, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, who was near death. Jesus said to him, “Unless you people see signs and wonders, you will not believe.”
Jesus does not seem happy about the search for signs and wonders in today’s gospel reading. Yet it seems in our daily world we are always “looking” for the next sign. Social media is full of people searching for the cutest dog or cat story, the cruelest political jab, or the most moving, sad episode in human relationships. News is no longer news unless it is “breaking news”. People are bored in the present moment and must be stimulated constantly by signs, wonders, tweets, emails and breaking news to be happy. What have we all become? No wonder Jesus sounds frustrated with people looking for signs and wonders in his own times, even without all our distracting electronic stimulants!
Perhaps we should concentrate on “creating” signs and wonders rather than “looking” for signs and wonders. I can create a sign with a simple hug for someone suffering a loss, like yesterday at the bowling alley with a woman who lost a good friend of 18 years. I can create wonders by standing up for peace and justice in my community, like last week when our national church leaders urged us to care for and protect refugees and immigrants in this country. I can be a sign by caring for those most in need, like every day when people drive “Meals on Wheels” to lonely elderly folks. I can illuminate the world with a wonder, like yesterday taking time in a restaurant to sincerely ask a server how her day was going and actively listening to the response in a caring way.
My reflection today is simple and easy. Instead of “looking” for signs and wonders today, I will try and “create” signs and wonders!
Terry McDevitt, Ph.D., is a member of the Passionist Family in Louisville, Kentucky.