WEDNESDAY 1ST WEEK
Monica Murray C ‘14
Don't Be a Jonah--Embrace the Fullness of God's Mercy
“At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented,
and there is something greater than Jonah here.” Luke 11: 32
I remember watching Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie as a kid with my brothers, and I always disliked Jonah, played by Archibald the Cucumber. He obviously thinks that the people of Nineveh have fallen off the deep end—they cannot redeem themselves, nor are they worth of any effort on his part. Jonah acts completely sure that God has cast them off as well. While grumbling about his mission, Jonah says to Him, “Perhaps you've never been to Nineveh! Well, of course you haven't! A God like you would never go to a place like Nineveh!” But as Jonah fails to recognize, as we ourselves often do not recognize, God’s mercy does not have human limits.
God loves every single human being. He never stops giving us sufficient grace to be holy, and He extends His mercy to everyone—all we have to do is accept it, as the Ninevites accepted the chance to repent. In the above quotation from Luke’s Gospel, Jesus says that “something greater than Jonah is here.” Unlike Jonah, a mere prophet, Jesus seeks out the outcasts, the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the sinners. He eats with them, treats them like friends, and calls them to discipleship. If the Ninevites repented because of Jonah’s words, then even more so should we repent because of Jesus’s actions. During this Lenten season, let us first remember that we are all sinners dependent upon God’s mercy. Second, we should remember that God calls us to imitate His mercy towards our fellow men and women, freely forgiving them any transgressions and drawing them into our hearts.
Dear Jesus, when I feel like Jonah and condemn another person for their sins,
warm my cold heart with the fire of your love. Place a vision of you on the cross
before me always, so that I may remember how immense your mercy is. Amen.
Jon 3: 1-10, Ps 51: 3-4, 12-13, 18-19, Lk 11: 29-32