St. John XXIII, pray for us.
In this gospel passage people are demanding some extraordinary sign from Jesus that would prove beyond any doubt that he is who he says he is. Jesus flatly refuses to offer such a sign. The irony of this passage is that what the people are demanding is right in front of them, but because of their lack of faith they cannot grasp it. That is still the challenge the gospel presents to today’s reader or hearer. We want proof through extraordinary signs that Jesus is who he says he is. We very much fear the risk that faith demands.