Something Greater than Jonah

Scripture Reading

While 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.
Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites,
so will the Son of Man be to this generation.
At 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.
At 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.”
(Luke 11:29-32)

Scripture Study

Close correspondence here with Mt 12:38–42, save that Lk has put earlier, 11:16, the demand for a sign. He omits all reference to the whale and application to the Resurrection. The sign of Jonas is his preaching to the Ninevites, Jon 3:1 ff., whom he converts to such thorough-going penance. The Jews come out badly by comparison with the pagan Ninevites, and even with the Queen of Sheba. Note the growing severity of the reproaches and the significance of the claims: Jesus is superior to the Prophets, greater than Solomon.

Scripture Reflection

Friends, in today’s Gospel Jesus tells the crowd that they will receive no sign, except the sign of Jonah, which was a prophetic code for his death and resurrection. Everything Jesus said and did, in one way or another, is an anticipation of his resurrection. The God of Israel, the God of Jesus Christ, is a God of life, a God of the living. He hates death and the ways of death.

He hates sin, which brings about spiritual death; he hates physical illness, which brings about bodily death; he hates corruption, which brings about societal death. And so he battles all these things all the way. Jesus heals blind eyes and deaf ears and crippled limbs; he illuminates darkened minds; he liberates imprisoned souls.

His ministry is a ministry of life, of the triumph of life over death.

– Bishop Robert Barron

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.