If you are anything like me, you probably have said to God at one time or another "Just give me a sign and let me know what to do." And it is not a new phenomenon, either. Jesus talks about it in today's Gospel (Luke 11: 29-32). He tells people that they will not be given any sign "except the sign of Jonah". Now Jonah was a prophet who was sent by God to Nineva, in order to tell the people they had to repent and change the way they were living. Interestingly, the only "sign" we can find in the story is Jonah himself, telling the people that the city would be destroyed in forty days. This was enough for the king and, subsequently, all of the people to decide that they would indeed change their ways. And the city was spared.
Jesus says that He (the Son of Man) is the sign, just as Jonah was. The question is whether or not we will pay attention to it. Most people would tend to dismiss these words of Jesus, still intent on trying to get God to send a "real" sign. A small miracle, perhaps, or a voice telling them exactly what to do. But the Lord is very clear - this is not going to happen. He is the sign. His life and example are as clear as it is going to be. If we change our ways and follow His example, we will be saved. If not, we will perish. But most people do not really believe this, since it seems that those who ignore the way of life that God has in mind for us suffer no more than those of us who try and follow God's will. But this is really a very short-sighted view of things. The real judgment is yet to come. And when we stand before the Lord, we will not be able to claim that we were waiting for a sign to show us what He wanted. The sign has already been given to us. The words and example of Christ are God's sign to us. During Lent, let's try to pay a little more attention to the sign.