Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Jonah: A Prophet for Today

First Week of Lent

Lord, open my heart and soul in my prayer today.

What am I to learn from this story of a man who lived some 700 years before Jesus was born?

At the outset of the Book of Jonah the prophet tells of his call from Yahweh.  He was to go to the large city of Nineveh and there to preach repentance for the sinful ways of the people.   But Jonah ignored God's directions.  Jonah boarded a ship to go far away in the opposite direction.   Sorry, Jahweh:  a human being but a weak prophet.  While sailing toward what we now call Spain, Jonah's trip was interrupted by a severe storm.  When he told the sailors he might be the cause of the storm because he was turning from God's call to go to ?Nineveh, the sailors tossed the prophet into the raging waves.  And then there was calm....and Jonah was swallowed by a large fish.  Three days later the fish spit Jonah out, onto a sandy beach.  Jonah would have a second chance.  Yahweh knew what this man could do.  Yahweh needed such a strong man to bring about the conversion of the city of Nineveh.

I ask myself this question:  In my lifetime, God, how many times have you called upon me to be a modern day prophet, a man or woman call to be a sign or leader to bring people to an awareness of the spiritual life God, our Yahweh, wants his people to live?

I know sin abounds around me:  in my life as well as in the lives of so many around me.  Is my life a mirror that reflects the life of Jesus?  Am I living the life God wants me to live?  Am I a Jonah?

Oremus pro invicem!  (For new readers these words translate as "Let's pray for one another."

From the Hermitage
Fr. Milt