Thursday of the fourth week of Lent, 2023

    March 23, 2023

    How many times have you asked for a sign from God? I know I have on occasion. “God, if you just give me a sign, I will know what to do.” People ask for signs from God because they want to use it as a tangible example of how the divine is working in their life. But what happens when we cannot see the signs, even if they are right in front of us? We become like the Israelites in today’s first reading:

    “They have soon turned aside from the way I pointed out to them, making for themselves a molten calf and worshiping it.”

    God gave the Israelites multiple signs throughout their exodus from Egypt, yet still, they lost their faith in the divine presence. I know I can relate to that. We get so caught up in searching for signs to prove that God is working in our lives that we forget to recognize how much God has already done for us. Jesus was saying the same thing in today’s Gospel reading:

    “You search the Scriptures because you think you have eternal life through them; even they testify on my behalf.”

    God the Father gave us the ultimate sign: his only-begotten son, Jesus. For those of us working in social ministry, it is easy to get caught up in the daily ‘to do’ list that we lose sight of the divine presence. How many signs do we really need? When will enough be enough?

    Lent is a perfect time to take an extra deep breath and look for the divine right under our noses. We do not need a burning bush or a sea to part to know that God is living within us and among us. God always has been there and always will be there, we just need to take the time to recognize it.

    Catherine Orr serves as Coordinator fof the Roundtable Association of Catholic Diocesan Social Action Directors and as Pastoral Associate at Lumen Christi Parish in Mequon, WI.

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