Monday of the Twenty-eighth Week in Ordinary Time
Paul and Jesus both give the people what they want, but it doesn’t turn out to be all that great. Paul is dealing with the Galatians, who have been convinced that they need to follow the Mosaic Law for salvation. In response, Paul gives them a reading from the Torah (the account of Abraham in Genesis is still part of the Law), and shows them even according to their own standards, what they want will only lead to a covenant of slavery. Jesus notes that the people around Him want various signs, and so says that just as Jonah with his preaching was a sign to the Ninevites, He will be a sign to that generation–and tells them they will be condemned if they do not repent after seeing so great a sign.
As the musical Into the Woods once asked, “are you certain what you wish is what you want?” The Galatians may wish for the clarity of the Mosaic Law, but they don’t want the slavery that entails. The people of Jesus’ generation may wish for an obvious sign from God, but they don’t want the condemnation that comes from rejecting so obvious a sign. But sometimes good parenting is letting children make their own mistakes so that they see for themselves that maybe they don’t have it all figured out–and God is a good parent. But once we’re done trying to live in slavery to the Law or trying to court our own condemnation, God will be there to show us the right way.