A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

Asking for a Sign

Posted on: February 26, 2015

We often ask people to prove themselves—to prove who they are or what they can do. To prove they’re honest, trustworthy or capable.

Jesus was also asked to prove his identity and his power during his time on earth:

  • The Pharisees and Sadducees “asked him to show them a sign from heaven” (Matthew 16:1*).
  • The chief priests and the elders asked him, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23)
  • The people questioned him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly” (John 10:24).
  • As he hung on the cross, people passing by wanted him to show why they should believe in him:

“If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” (Matthew 27:40)

“He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” (Matthew 27:42)

Even today, people ask for proof that the Holy Trinity exists and works among us, promising to believe if they receive a sign, such as a miraculous healing.

Jesus told us what we needed to know through his works, which we can read about in the scriptures:

“If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me; but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father.” (John 10:37-38)

His apostles witnessed these works; listened to his teachings; and, as he commanded (see Matthew 28:19-20), went out to share the good news with all nations, as we read in the book of Acts, which also shows the Holy Spirit at work in the coming to faith of many people and in the growth of the early Church.

The gospels and the book of Acts testify about Jesus. The Psalms, epistles and other books of the Bible praise God and bear witness to his power. The wonders of creation and human life speak volumes about the Holy Trinity. But if we still can’t allow ourselves to believe in a god we can’t see or touch, we can look at the blessings in our lives and the times we received help when we needed it most. We can ask Christians about the reasons for their faith. And we can ask God—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—to increase our faith, “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). We, too, can cry out to Jesus:

“I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24)

(*Scripture quotes and references taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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