Today, Fr Paul reads from the Gospel of Mark (8: 11-13), in which the Pharisees demand a sign from heaven of Jesus. He also reminds us that Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent is only a couple of days away.

Fr Paul says we may think this little passage is puzzling.  We hear the request for a sign and a request like this is made four times in Mark’s Gospel. Yet, this is the only passage that Jesus absolutely refuses to give a sign.  In all the others, he promises the sign of the prophet Jonah; that sign being after three days Jonah (or Jesus) will reappear; Jonah from the belly of the whale (Jesus from the tomb).

We are also aware of all the healings and all the other wonders and works Jesus has been doing up to this point in the Gospel.  These, themselves, were in fact signs of the coming of the kingdom of God. Yet, as we hear in this Gospel, Jesus is still asked for a sign.

Mindful of today’s Gospel, of the attitude of the Pharisees in asking for a sign, Fr Paul invites us to reflect ‘Do I ask for signs in my own life? Or do I trust in the healing power of Jesus?’

As Fr Paul, mentioned earlier Ash Wednesday this week (17 February) and everyone is welcome to join our services. See the slide at the end of the Gospel Reflection for times and visit our website to book in.

Please note the way the Ashes are distributed may be done differently to meet COVID requirements