The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, asking him for a sign from heaven, to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, and getting into the boat again, he went across to the other side.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Despite the short reading, there is plenty to be said about Christ and our relationship with him in today’s Gospel. Passages that show Jesus’ emotions reveal to us the very human side of God. When the Pharisees asked Christ to yet again prove himself, Jesus was resigned to the fact that nothing he did would be enough for them. Their hard-hearted nature prevented them from understanding the countless signs Christ had already provided; one more miracle, one more explanation would not change their minds. This passage reminds me that frustration is a human emotion, one which we must know how to address within ourselves. Jesus retreated from a frustrating situation, aware of his own needs in the moment. As a high school teacher, I resonate with Christ’s profound sigh, “deeply from his spirit.” Jesus’s self-awareness in this Gospel story encourages me to listen to my own emotions in frustrating situations.
—Sara Spittler is the First Years Chaplain and a Religious Studies teacher at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.
Lord Jesus, you know our emotions because you experienced them, and you understand the frustration we feel at times. Grant us patience, with ourselves and with others, and help us to know the right way to act when we encounter those to test our limits. May we use these encounters as opportunities to grow closer to you. Amen.
—The Jesuit Prayer team
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