Monday of the 28th Week of the Year

Luke 11:29-32

The Demand for a Sign


People love miracles. Just look at the numerous miracle crusades being organized all over the world. Look at the numerous spiritual groups being formed under leaders who claimed who claimed to heal diseases and do exceptional things.

Jesus refused to give any sign except that of Jonah, the man who went around Nineveh preaching repentance. The inhabitants believed him and were converted. Nothing more than that will be given to us because someone greater than Jonah had arrived. Jesus’ call to conversion is more than enough for us if we really listen. Moreover, God uses anything or anybody to invite us, to call us to change our lives.

There’s no need to look for exceptional happenings. We simply need to listen to the numerous calls and messages we encounter in our daily life and to trust in the words of Jesus to be able to find the miracles we’ve been looking for. (Fr. Charlie P. Cruz Bible Diary 2002)


In a pilgrimage tour last year, our group went to the our group went to the Sanctuary  of St. Filomena in Mugnano del Cardinale, Avelino, Italy. According to some, many miracles happened through the intercession of this saint.

On our way back home we have a problem with excess luggage. We were allowed only twenty kilos. One of us prayed to St. Filomena that if we would get through without additional charges it is sign and proof she is really a miracle worker. And you know what happened? All of us who has excess baggage did not have to pay. The weighing scale was out of order!

On my part I asked the intercession of our mother Mary. But I did not make any conditions. I followed her example, her fiat, “your will be done.”

In the gospel reading today our Lord reacted to the crowd’s demand for a sign. He did not give them a sign. He told them His presence, His work, His preaching are signs enough to believe in Him.

If a person ask for a sign or a proof of love, he/she is not truly in love. He/she makes conditions; he/she has no trust. It is clear that most of the crowd who went to see Jesus did not go because they loved the Lord but rather to see some sensational events or they wanted to get something from the Lord.

I am inspired by the story of a rabbi and his family who tried to escape Spain during the time of Inquisition. While they were escaping his two sons drowned in the sea. And when they reached an island his wife was struck by lightning.  He knelt down and shouted to the Lord: “Why Lord have you done this to me I tried to escape Spain to continue to serve you but you not only took my two sons but my wife as well!  But if you think Lord that you will succeed in driving me away from you then you are mistaken. Because even if you torture me or kill, I will still cling to you because I love you.”

Such person needs no sign from the Lord because he is truly in love. (Fr. Titus Mananzan, SVD Bible Diary 2005


Suppose you are a mother who is working everyday with a double job in order to meet the family’s needs. You seldom socialize with your former friends and classmates in order to spend more time with your children. Instead of buying new clothes for yourself, you save the money for the birthday celebration of your daughter. Then one day your daughter tells you: “Ma, give me a sign that you truly love me.” How would you feel?

After witnessing Jesus preach, do good deeds, heal the sick and raise the dead, the people were still looking for a sign if he was really the Anointed One of God. Jesus’ reaction was so strong that he called the generation an evil generation looking for a sign. An evil person will never see goodness and love no matter what. An evil generation will always be indifferent to the wonders of nature and to the great things the Lord has done.

Sometimes we even ask if the Lord really love us. For me the greatest sign of His love is our very own existence and our being created in his image and likeness. Whenever some people doubt whether God really loves them or not, I tell them to get a mirror and look at themselves and ask if they look like a human being? And if they are convinced, then they must believe that God truly loves them. God created us because he wants us to share in His divinity. The mere fact that God created us in spite of knowing everything about us is the one great sign and proof that God truly loves us. (Fr. Titus Mananzan, SVD Bible Diary 2006)


God sent Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh that He was going to punish them for their sins. The people heeded Jonah’s preaching and repented of their sins. God relented and forgave them. He did not punish them.

Jesus compares His own preaching to the people of Israel to Jonah’s preaching to the Ninevites. The people of Nineveh were more responsive to Jonah’s call to repentance than the people of Israel were to Jesus’ preaching.

We can also compare the stance of people and their religious leaders, the scribes and Pharisees, in their dealings with our Lord and that of the apostles/disciples in their relationship with our Lord.

The leaders and their followers, on the other hand, were asking for a sign and this showed their evil designs. Jesus right away saw through it and said, “This generation is an evil one; it seeks sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” They had no faith in God. The apostles and the disciples, on the other hand, were asking the Lord to “Increase their faith,” and even to teach them how to pray. The gospel gives us one of the best examples of faith/prayer when the apostles ask Jesus to increase their faith. in contrast, they had faith in God.

However, multiplying prayers and good works, as if faith were some kind of a spiritual stockpile, is to miss the meaning of faith. faith is more like life itself – something that can grow in a qualitative sense and become deeper, richer and more fruitful. This does not mean that faith will empower us to literally uproot trees and throw these to the sea; or even drink poison, or be bitten by snakes and scorpions and be impervious to them. But it surely gives us the power to cope with difficulties, overcome obstacles and even attempt great things because we have the Lord with us who will surely help us.

May the Lord increase our faith and may it penetrate our whole being and our communities. (Fr. Fred Mislang, SVD Bible Diary 2008)


According to a scientific study, bears are guided primarily by a sense of smell rather than sight, while other animals depend on their antennas and skin sensitivity. Thus, it is strength to know the capacity of our senses because they guide us in reading the map of life. We are used to using our physical senses but we are also gifted with a unique sense. Call it inner sense, intuition; in the spiritual dimension, a sense of faith.

In today’s gospel Jesus appears to be a failure. After performing several miraculous deeds like healing, feeding thousands and preaching, the people were still looking for signs of his divinity. Could this be part of human weakness to always ask for more. We might ask, what is the measure of enough?

Signs of the divine abound. We are challenged by events to help us know and feel God’s presence with the full use of our physical and spiritual senses. How? By participating in human endeavors that seek to promote progress both in the material and spiritual dimensions. In those endeavors, God’s miracles continuously unfold. (Fr. Isagani Ehido, SVD Bible Diary 2009)


Looking for a sign is not at all bad. St. Ignatius of Loyola, in his rules for discernment, tells us to be sensitive to signs that come from the Ignatius referred to two kinds of signs: consolation and desolation. St. Ignatius says that if we want our decisions and actions to be truly emanating from the guidance of God, we must look for the real consolations. God is a God of peace and consolation; desolations are never God’s sign.

The issue of the Gospel reading is, then, not the signs, but faith. Jesus compares the faith of the Old Testament people with that of the people in His time. The Nenivites, though they were pagans, heeded the call of Jonah when he made known Yahweh-God’s warning that their city would be destroyed if they went on unrepentant. Though pagan, the Queen of the South believed in the wisdom and transcendence of Yahweh-God when she encountered the powerful yet sinful Solomon. Yes, the less-knowing, less-privileged and naïve persons are many times capable of deeper faith! Theologians and experts of religion should take this lesson to hearts.

Before God, what is important is not the amount of information one has in store, but the degree one has been formed. Our knowledge about faith and God should form us, not only inform us (Fr. Domie Guzman SSP New Every Morning New Everyday 2006 p. 303).


God sent Jonah to warn the people of Nineveh that He was going to punish them for their sins. The Ninevites heeded Jonah’s warning and repented their sins. God forgave them and didn’t punish them.

Jesus compares Jonah’s preaching to Nineveh to His own preaching to Israel. But the Ninevites were more responsive to Jonah’s call to repentance than the people of Israel were to Jesus’ call.

This explains why Jesus says, “On the Judgment Day the people of Nineveh will stand up and accuse you.”

Today’s reading invites us to ask ourselves: how responsive are we to Jesus’ call to repentance? What steps do we take to keep from falling back into past sins?

Today’s reading invites us to pray: “Lord, help us realize that the person who repents sin is almost innocent,” (Mark Link, SJ Illustrated Daily Homilies Weekdays 1987 p. 253)


October 15, 2012

St. Teresa of Jesus,
virgin and doctor

Gal 4:22-24, 26-27, 31—5:1
Ps 113
Lk 11:29-32

Lk 11:29-32
The Demand for a Sign 

29While 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. 30Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31At 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. 32At 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.”


It seeks a sign. Why do people want a sign in order to believe? In Jesus’ time, some people want certainty that Jesus is truly the promised Savior. This only proves that they are lacking in faith. Despite the overwhelming signs of goodness and God’s love that Jesus performs, unbelievers still persist in their incredulity. Jesus simply does not give in to any request just to satisfy people’s curiosity.

What is needed is faith. With faith, there is no need of sign as a condition to place one’s trust in Jesus. Jesus himself is more than a sign. His works are signs that God loves us, takes care of us, and saves us. He remains compassionate and merciful.

Jesus’ opponents ask for a sign out of an evil intent. In their malice they want to test Jesus, to find a loophole by which they can accuse him of violation of the Jewish law. What they want is to see something spectacular that does not necessarily benefit anyone.

Do you put conditions before you decide to give your heart to Jesus and to the service of the Church?
If you do not receive the favor or blessing you seek from the Lord, do you look elsewhere for sources that could give you benefits?


Sunday, October 11, 2015

MONDAY OF THE 28TH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR B) – LUKAS 11:29-32. UNSA MAY TIMAAN SA PAG-UYON SA DIOS? Giingnan ni Hesus ang mga Hudiyo nga wala nay laing timaan nga ihatag kanila gawas niadtong milagro nga nahitabo kang Jonas. Ang pagkabuhi ni Jonas sa tiyan sa dakong isda sulod sa 3 ka adlaw giisip nga dakong milagro. Apan, aduna pay laing milagro nga nahitabo tungod kang Jonas. Kini mao ang wala damhang pagkabag-o sa mga tawo sa Ninibe human nila nabati ang pagsangyaw sa usa ka ordinaryong tawo sama kang Jonas. Para kang Hesus, ang pagkausab sa mga tawo usa ka milagro nga nagpakita nga si Jonas giubanan sa Dios. Sa samang paagi, ang pagkakabig sa daghang mga tawo ngadto kang Hesus mao usab ang timaan nga siya ang gipadalang Anak sa Dios. Adunay nag-ingon: “The real miracle is not when God do the will of men but when men do the will of God.” Posted by Abet Uy



28th Week, Ordinary Time, Monday, 12-10-15

Romans 1:1-7 / Luke 11:29-32

If people were to ask us, “What do you do as Catholics?” what will our reply be?

Are we going to say: we go for Mass on Sundays, or, we go to Novena on Saturdays, or, we pray the Rosary?

But what do we do essentially as Catholics? What is being Catholic all about?

If St. Paul were to answer that question, his reply could be found in the 1st reading, which is the letter to the Romans.

For St. Paul, it is to proclaim the Good News, and it is about Jesus Christ who rose from the dead, so that in Him, the holiness of God is shown to all peoples.

The Church teaches that all the followers of Christ have the obligation of spreading the faith according to their abilities.

Whatever abilities we may have, we can be witnesses of the faith by living lives of holiness.

Because holiness is the sign and the expression of our faith in the Risen Lord.

By our lives of holiness, we already proclaim our faith.

The fruit of holiness is repentance, and hence we must turn away from sin and turned towards God.

When our lives are turned towards God, others will eventually follow suit.

They need not ask us what we do as Catholics, because they can see who we are as Catholics. Posted by Rev Fr Stephen Yim


ABOUT SIGNS – Today, Jesus mentions Solomon’s wisdom, but He says that His own wisdom is still greater than Solomon’s. He is, after all, the Divine Wisdom. Nowadays the word “wisdom” is rarely used. It has become old-fashioned, almost obsolete. What most people seek today are knowledge, science, technology and information. These are, without doubt. great signs of a marvelous progress which has brought humankind comfort, advantages and power — as long as they are used in the right way. Science and technology tell us a lot, but they don’t tell us how to use the power they give. And here wisdom comes in. What we need today more than ever is the wisdom of Christ to distinguish what is good and what is evil.

Jesus then scolds those who were asking for a sign and He speaks about the sign of Jonah.

A sign can be a very helpful instrument, again, if it is used properly. Stopping the car at a stop sign is a good example that might very well save your life.

Jesus has given many signs, advice and explanation on the commandments during His ministry in Galilee and on His journey to Jerusalem. The people demand more signs but have ignored the most important sign, namely Jesus, who is the Divine Wisdom living among them. He says in response to their request, “This generation is an evil generation… No sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah.” The sign of Jonah, who remained three days in the belly of the great fish, foreshadows Jesus’ death, His time in the tomb and His resurrection. That will be a sign far greater than all the signs He has shown throughout His ministry. And yet, many ignore it.

Ignoring signs can be reckless and dangerous, and threaten our physical life. Christ is the sign we just cannot ignore in daily life because it would endanger our eternal life. Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD

REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you see Christ as the great sign that helps you avoid dangers and leads you to eternal life?

Lord, thank You for reminding me that You are a sign, for You point the way to eternal life. Let me always follow You, the greatest sign in my life.


LOOKING FOR DAMON – This generation is an evil generation. It seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah. – Luke 11:29

In the 1994 romantic film Only You, the female character was told in a group game that a certain Damon Bradley was destined to be the man in her life. Hopeless romantic that she was, she took this sign seriously and off she went to find him. Her search brought her to Italy where she met the real Damon Bradley. Sadly, the encounter did not turn out to be as she had dreamed of.

She met another man who warmed her heart. His name was not Damon. Seeing how conflicted she was, her brother finally admitted that the Damon Bradley story was just a prank. What a happy ending it was for her!

Even among us Catholics, horoscopes and fortune-tellers are popular. Some take these seriously and allow those to influence their lives. We also pray for signs and interpret them as affirmations from God for what we want.

Truth is, the Bible gives us everything to direct us to a good destiny. If we are faithful to God’s words and allow Him to direct our lives, He will give us everything that is good and all that we need in His time. Marie Franco (

Reflection: Read the Bible and get to know God’s directions for you today.

For all the times I relied on so many things other than You, I beg for forgiveness. You alone are my God, my Savior, and source of wisdom.


ANCIENT ROLE MODELS – Last year, the whole world was shocked when the US Supreme Court effectively redefined marriage in a decision. Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites immediately went on overdrive, with both sides of the controversial issue taking the discussion to a whole new level of shrillness.

While our contemporary world seems to become more polarized about so many issues that once were not really contentious, Nineveh was not exactly a holy place either. Nineveh was a place of sinners, to put it bluntly. They were rebellious, founded as it is by the same one who built the Tower of Babel and who inspired resistance against orthodox Jewish teachings.

Now, Jonah, who was a Jew, was not an enthusiastic preacher. He was reluctant to go and preach to the Ninevites. But the Ninevites, whom Jonah mistrusted, turned out to be good listeners. They eventually repented, despite the foot-dragging and whining of Jonah.

The queen of the south (Shebah) was not a Jew. But she had an eye for discerning who really had the goods. And she found Solomon worth listening to, for in him she saw the wisdom she was looking for.

We all could learn a thing or two from both the queen and the Ninevites. That precious lesson has to do with giving God and His prophets a chance to be heard — giving His teaching some room in our cluttered lives. Despite our strong positions for or against controversial issues, we could do a Jonah, and think better about preaching with eagerness in God’s name. We also could do a Ninevite, who took to the task of repentance soon enough.

But the best role model for me was the non-Jewish queen. Seeing that Solomon talked sense, she listened and obeyed. But today, someone greater than Jonah, Solomon and the queen is here with us: Jesus. We would do well to listen to them! Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB

REFLECTION QUESTIONS: Are there some people whom you idolize? What are their best traits? Do they inspire you to be the best you can be?

Thank You for coming to our lives, Lord Jesus. You are greater than all the prophets and idols that ever existed. Amen.


October 12, 2015

Monday of the 28th Week in the Ordinary Time

Rom 1; 1-7, Lk 11: 29-32

True Miracles

Nobody got on Jesus’ nerves more than sign seekers and miracle mongers. It is true that Jesus performed numerous miracles during his public ministry. However, he did them not to impress the onlookers or to get a round of applause from his spectators. The miracles he performed were the natural overflow of his boundless compassion and his endless kindness towards the suffering people who sought his intervention. We do not see him turning water into wine or stones into loaves of bread to feed himself at the recommendation of Satan at the end of his forty days long fast. He was challenged to jump down from the pinnacle of the temple and to come down from the cross to prove his divinity. But he refused to take that bait. As in the time of Jesus even today people are after miracles and demand signs and wonders to surprise and entertain themselves. That is why God-men and God-women who claim to possess supernatural powers and miraculous abilities thrive in our country. It is said to be the most profitable business now a days. Sorry to say, no religion is exempt from this miracle menace. While some statues drink milk; some others shed tears of blood and people swarm those places opening venues of big business. Persons who dare to express some doubts regarding the veracity of miracles are considered traitors of their faith. These miracle mongers pretend to be the protectors of their religion!

What could be the reason behind Jesus’ refusal to prove himself through miracles, calling ‘evil’ the people who sought after signs and wonders? There are many solid reasons. First of all such people are dull and of shallow faith.  They refuse to see and hear what they should have seen and heard. In Nineveh the prophet Jonah did not perform any miracle. He prophesied only for three days. Yet the pagan Ninevites repented in ash and sack cloths. But the 33 years of salutary presence of Jesus and his three years of preaching only hardened the hearts of the Jews. To listen to the Wisdom of Solomon, the Ethiopian queen Sheba came all the way from the south to Jerusalem, while the Jews turned their back to Jesus, the divine wisdom incarnate. They could see him only as a person who came to sabotage their religion and national pride by performing black magic and entertaining friendship with prostitutes and outlaws. Once a teacher asked her primary school kids to write down the Seven Wonders of the World. One little girl wrote on her paper: The Seven Wonders are: 1. I can see, 2. I can hear, 3. I can smell, 4. I can feel touch, 5. I can taste, 6. I can think and 7. I can Love!!! What greater signs and miracles do we need? If people cannot see and appreciate these miracles what should we call them – blind? Stupid? You decide. Dr Kurian Perumpallikunnel CMI


Monday, October 10, 2016

Reflection for Monday October 10, Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time; Luke 11:29-32

Reflection: Do you ask for signs from before we decide on something? For example, if you’re a female, would you ask for a sign if the man courting you is the right one for you? And based on that sign you now would decide to say yes or no to that man.

Jesus is much bigger than the signs that we ask for from God. If we have Him in our hearts we need not ask anymore for signs. But do we allow Jesus to have a special place in our hearts? Jesus has a simple request for all of us for Him to dwell in our hearts. The simple request is our repentance from all of our sins. This is His simple request for all of us, so that He could dwell in our hearts.

During the time of Jonah the people of Nineveh listened to Jonah’s call of repentance. Otherwise there would be destruction upon them. So they listened, they’ve put on sackcloth to show God that they are sorry for the many sins that they’ve committed and they are ready to walk away from it.

Why do we continue to embrace sin when it will not do us any good? Why do we continue to embrace sin when we know for a fact that sin is evil and it eventually will destroy us? It’s very hard to comprehend why many of us continue to sin. Perhaps we continue to sin because we don’t allow God to come into our life.

If you will love this world more than you love God you certainly will continue to sin. However, God is always there for you no matter how sinful you are, ever ready to embrace you with His infinite love and forgiveness. – Marino J. Dasmarinas

Prayer: I am sinful creature of this world O Lord and I am tired of sinning for it has not brought anything good into my life. I seek for your forgiveness O Lord and I seek for your love, this I pray in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.


October 10, 2016

A popular proverb states that “there are none so blind as those who will not see,” and this reflects pretty much a desolate complaint of the prophet Jeremiah about those foolish and senseless people “who have eyes and see not, who have ears and hear not” (Jer 5:21).

In today’s gospel reading we hear Jesus say about the scribes and the Pharisees, “they ask for a sign.” And this, after they had seen Jesus perform multiple exorcisms and countless miracles of healing. But these are not enough. They demand a sign that will end all possibility of doubt concerning Jesus’ claim to be coming from God. Presumably they require some sort of celestial firework which will absolutely floor them and compel them to believe willy nilly. But this would not be an act of faith, and faith needs to be free in order to be a meaningful gift of self. Those scribes and Pharisees just do not want to see what the crowds see so clearly, namely, that a very great man of God stands among them. And Jesus confirms this opinion of the crowds when he states that he is greater than Solomon, the proverbially wise king, and greater than Jonah, the converter of the Ninevites .


See Today’s Readings:  Year I,   Year II

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