October 7, 2015
(Our Lady of the Holy Rosary)
God said to Jonah, “Have you reason to be angry over the plant?” “I have reason to be angry,” Jonah answered, “angry enough to die.” Then the LORD said, “You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labor and which you did not raise; it came up in one night and in one night it perished. And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left, Jon_4:1-11
The story of Jonah is an allegory of God’s incredible mercy and mankind’s sometimes self-centered attitude. You see, God had a mission for Jonah. And Jonah knowing the mercy of God had decided to run away from God and hide, instead. He didn’t want the embarrassment of warning the evil city about their pending doom and then it not happening because God relented (because they repented).
So in His great mercy, first, God saved Jonah from death. (Just as Jesus was saved after 3-days in the bowels of darkness.) Then, in performing his mission, everything Jonah expected, happened exactly as he surmised: Nineveh repented and God relented. But Jonah still didn’t get the point. And he was angry!
So God gave Jonah another sign. In the midst of all his woes, Jonah had a respite of relief, which only lasted a day. And anger again set in. And just as God had to remind Job of his proper place in the plan of existence, He also had to remind Jonah. God’s love for ALL mankind has no bounds. And as long a mankind repents his sins – God will forgive!
In reality, the story is a reminder for us too, beloved. God is not the sole owner of mercy! He expects the same from us! Just because we’re down in the dumps sometimes. Just because we see unexpected good happen to those whom WE feel should never get that kind of blessing, it doesn’t mean that we should not be – always and equally thankful for all the, maybe little, blessings we receive from God as well. Do we have food? Be thankful. Do we have work? Be thankful. Are we healthy enough to do anything? Be thankful. And in the process be as merciful to others as we have received mercy from God. We say it every time we say the Lord’s Prayer! Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those trespass against us. We just need to live it as well!
And praise Him for it all!
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