Monday, February 16, 2009

Musings on Today's Readings

The first reading was the bit from Genesis where Cain kills Abel. I'm probably a very bad person for this, but I can never read that bit of Scripture without thinking of Nino Brown in New Jack City.

The Gospel, however, was short and sweet and a bit unnerving. It's Mark 8:11-13.

The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with Jesus,seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him.He sighed from the depth of his spirit and said,"Why does this generation seek a sign? Amen, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation."Then he left them, got into the boat again,and went off to the other shore.

I read this, and I couldn't help but think of the multitudes of people who are asking God for signs these days. They range from your average Pentecostal type, who thinks that they get signs every time they look around, all the way to your atheists, who mock God by asking for signs and then rejoice when they don't get them. These kinds of behaviors both creep me out.

Given the way things are going these days, I'm pretty fearful of the next signs that we get. I'm not the kind of guy who goes around proclaiming that the end is nigh, but you can't help but see some of the world's madness and not at least consider the possibilities. And folks, I got some bad news. The end is not going to be all that pleasant.

There is no rapture. If the end comes, we're going to be sitting right in the middle of it, so stow your cowardly notions of missing out on all the persecution right now.

It made me feel better that I'm not the only one who had this in mind. If you check a Haydock Commentary, there is a quote from Theophylactus that nutshells the whole thing nicely:

Jesus Christ did not consent to the petition they made him, because there will be another time for signs and wonders, viz. his second coming, when the powers of heaven shall be moved, and the moon refuse her light. This his first coming is not to terrify man, but to instruct and store his mind with lessons of humility, and every other virtue.

You want signs? Be careful what you ask for.

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