Archive for the ‘Jonah’ Category

Ninevites & Israelites — Wednesday, 1st Week of Lent

March 12, 2014

Readings: Jonah 3:1-10, Luke 11:29-32

Jonah did not care much for the Ninevites. He preached the simple message God had given him, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” but his heart was not really in it. Yet by the end of the first day of Jonah’s three walk through the city, his words had spread through the city like the rumor of a fire. Everyone, from the king to the cattle, repented and were saved. Jesus Christ, on the other hand, loved his people profoundly and spent three years preaching throughout Israel with a wisdom greater than Solomon’s, yet many Israelites disregarded him.

Are we being converted like the Ninevites Jonah preached to, or remaining unconverted like the Israelites Jesus criticized? The grace of conversion is indeed a grace, but we can ask God for this grace and be open to it. We are now in the midst of our forty days; let us heed and respond to Christ’s words.

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Tuesday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time—Year I

October 6, 2009

Velazquez, Christ in the House of Martha and Mary. 1618

Today you heard two familiar Bible stories. In the first reading, Jonah reluctantly preaches and the Ninevites, who wholeheartedly convert. In the Gospel, Martha serves while Mary listens at Jesus’ feet. The characters in these two stories would seem to have nothing in common with each other… but that is not so.

What do Martha and Jonah have in common? Both Martha and Jonah are doing work for the Lord, work which they found to be unpleasant. What do Mary and the Ninevites share? What do they have in common? Both Mary and the Ninevites are doing the one thing that is needed, they have turned themselves towards the Lord. Now let’s apply their lesson to ourselves as students.

Ever since I was five years old, up to this very year, I have been in school as a student every year of my life. So I’ve sat through a lot of classes; some which I really enjoyed, and others that I didn’t. Now it’s easy to work on a subject we enjoy, but in other classes we’re like Martha and Jonah, it’s God’s will for us that we be there, doing what we’re doing, but we’re certainly not thrilled about it.

So the next time you feel bummed-out in one of your classes (hopefully not in one of my classes) try doing this: Turn your eyes and your heart to the Lord, like Mary and the Ninevites, and offer yourself and that hour’s work to Jesus.   You already have your cross, so use it for a spiritual sacrifice. What difference will it make when you redirect yourself and your work like this to the Lord? There’s only one way to find out.