God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For he fashioned all things that they might have being, and the creatures of the world are wholesome.1
Jonah is a case study of repentance. Details about the Jonah account can distract our attention: fish swallowing a human; the large size of the city of Nineveh; its population. The details are not the point; God’s desire to send Jonah as agent of God’s hope for people to be in relationship with God is the point.
Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the Lord. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish, away from the Lord.2
When someone tells you, “I have news for you”; or when someone is specific, “Good news!”: our first instinct is to listen. If someone says, “I received some bad news,” we may call forth courage to listen even if we’d rather not. Listening to another binds us. It may be temporary as on a plane, in a store, at the salon or at a class. It may be longer lasting as with schoolmates, neighbors, friends and family.
- Pause in the presence of the Trinity.
- Ask St. Paul to present you to Jesus.
- Speak with Jesus about your determination and energy to respond to Jesus inviting you. Tell Jesus what stands in your way of responding to him.
- Ask for grace to overcome what keeps you from responding wholeheartedly to Jesus.
- Close your time saying slowly the Lord’s Prayer. Its reminder that God’s kingdom dawns on earth as...in heaven encourages us and frees our hearts to respond as we are and to follow Jesus in deed as well as word.
- Wisdom 1.13-14a.
- Jonah 1.3.
- Jonah 4.1-2.
- 1Corinthians 2.16.