Something greater than Jonah is here.
The New York Post was notorious for eye catching headlines. The headlines were designed to seduce the reader into believing the world was falling apart. It often seemed like the readers rarely read the entire article to see if there was truth in the headlines.
For example, one headline read, “Innocent Mother Gunned Down.” The story was about a young mother shot with a child in her arms by violent drug lords. It was written in a way to convince the reader they could be shot dead at any moment. However, a discerning mind could read the mother was shot at 2 am on a corner known for drug dealing. Innocent was a loose fitting term. The violence of that generation was not as random as the article suggested.
In this generation news is whatever sells. What sells is often the article which can produce the greatest amount of fear. Its like the world adapted the journalistic integrity of the New York Post. Where can we go to find the truth? Who has the source of wisdom?
I give more credit to the past than is justified. There has always been competing voices claiming to speak real truth and real wisdom. It would be easy if truth was marked by a simple sign, one that required no discerning thought. We could look at it, see it and move on.
Today’s reading is a reminder of the difficulty in discerning truth. The crowds cannot even buy the wisdom Jesus speaks. They want a sign. Jesus reminds them of the prophet Jonah. Jonah spoke and the people heard and believed. So Jesus says, listen, something greater than Jonah is here.
The truth often demands more reflection than a headline. It involves reading, prayer, and conversation. The truth has a way of emerging even when the generation we live in may seem evil. Lord, grant me the wisdom to hear your truth so your peace may reign in my heart. (Luke 11: 29-32)