Genesis 4:1-15, 25
“Show me the money,” the line in the movie goes. It’s a comedy, so we laugh. But how many other times in life do we act out of a sense that nothing means anything until the bottom line gets met, the payoff happens, the results are in, we get the proof we feel entitled to?
Can’t you just feel the weariness when Jesus, in today’s brief Gospel, “sighed from the depth of his spirit and said, ‘Why does this generation seek a sign?'”
The truth is, at some point in our life most of us want something. We want love, we want health; we want money, we want control; we want assurances, we want affirmation. We want God to smile upon us, and, if it’s not too much trouble, we want the side dish of a sign so that we know we are loved and valued. We test God often.
St. Paul of the Cross, Passionist founder, and Mother Teresa, are two visionaries who lived lives of astonishing goodness and heartbreaking questioning. They were given signs of their paths early on, and then groped in spiritual darkness for decades. Somehow they clung to their faith and remained true to the work God had called them to. They “knew their place” before God, and foregoing all human demands and expectations, surrendered themselves to His will and to His love.
In these tough times as we feel clueless, frightened or forgotten, that’s the real deal.
Nancy Nickel is director of marketing and communications at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois.