Commentary on the Gospel of
“WHY DO THE PEOPLE OF THIS PRESENT TIME ASK FOR A SIGN?”
According to Genesis, no sooner were there two brothers, than one killed the other. Along with this primordial sin comes the impulse to evade responsibility. God asks Cain, “Where is your brother, Abel?” And Cain, conscious of his guilt replies, “I don’t know; am I my brother’s keeper?” Perhaps the seeds of his crime lay in that innocent-sounding question. Yes, we are our brother’s and sister’s keeper. The blood of so many victims cries to God from the ground—victims not necessarily by our conscious intent, but by our indifference, our failure even to recognize that they are our brothers and sisters.
Meanwhile, in the Gospel text, Jesus shows his exasperation with those who want to treat him like a performing monkey: “Show us a trick! Perform a sign!” He did not come to provide diversion or to satisfy their curiosity. Was it not a sign of God’s coming kingdom when he treated strangers, sinners, the sick and marginalized as his brothers and sisters? Well, the time will come when he will provide a still greater sign—one that will cost everything, even his very life. But not yet.