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Today's Gospel + short theological explanation

Monday of the Sixth Week in Ordinary Time
Gospel text (Mk 8:11-13): The Pharisees came forward and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. He sighed from the depth of his spirit (...). Then he left them, got into the boat again, and went off to the other shore.

Christ did not cast himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple

EDITORIAL TEAM evangeli.net (based on texts by Benedict XVI) (Città del Vaticano, Vatican)

Today, —and time and again— a "signal" is being requested from the Lord. The devil also "tried" it... and "tempted Him" in the desert: "If you are the son of God..." We will hear these words again in the mouth of the mocking bystanders at the foot of the Cross: "If you are the Son of God, come down from the Cross". Mockery and temptation blend into each other here: Christ is being challenged to establish His credibility by offering evidence for His claims.

He is "tested", just as products are tested: He must submit to the conditions that we say are necessary if we are to reach certainty. This demand for proof is a constantly recurring theme in the story of Jesus’ life. "If you are the son of God..." what a challenge! However, His signals were "smallness" and "swaddling clothes"; He did not give in to the issue of "bread and circuses": He did not change the stones of the desert into bread, He did not come down from the Cross nor did He cast Himself down from…

—Christ did not cast Himself down from the pinnacle of the Temple. But He did descend into the abyss of death, as an act of God's love for men.