The Gospel of Mark: a commentary & meditation 
"No sign shall be given to this generation"

Scripture:  Mark 8:11-13

11 The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven, to test him. 12 And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and said, "Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign shall be given to this generation." 13 And he left them, and getting into the boat again he departed to the other side.

Meditation: How good are you at reading signs?  The people of Jesus' time expected that the coming of the Messiah would be accompanied by extraordinary signs and wonders. False messiahs had made great claims to attract followers, such as cleaving the Jordan River in two or causing the walls of Jerusalem to fall. Jesus knew the hearts of those who came to test him. They were more interested in signs and supernatural phenomena than they were in the word of God. Simeon had prophesied at Jesus' birth that he was "destined for the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that inner thoughts of many will be revealed" (Luke 2:34-35). Jesus gave them no sign except himself and the ultimate proof of his divinity when he rose from the dead. The Lord reveals himself to us in many ways -- in his word and in the "breaking of the bread" in the Eucharist, in his Church -- the body of Christ, in his creation, and even in the everyday circumstances of our lives. If we seek the Lord, we can be confident that he will give us everything we need to do his will. Most of all the Lord assures us of his presence and the promise that he will never leave us.  Theresa of Avila's prayer book was found to contain a bookmark inscribed:  Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you; All things pass: God never changes.  Patience achieves all it strives for.  Whoever has God lacks nothing, God alone suffices. Is God enough for you?

"Lord, show me your goodness and favor that I may praise you all my days.  And give me unshakeable hope in your saving word that nothing may deter me from trusting in you completely."

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 (c) 2000 Don Schwager