A FATHERLY HEART
Meditation for Wednesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time
(Jonah 3:1-10; Lk 10:38-42)
Surprisingly, Jonah was angry that God withdrew his punishment for Nineveh. He wanted those people to die for their sins. The desire of the righteous should be the conversion of sinners, but never to entertain a secret joy at the downfall of anyone. And the measure of our holiness is not by contrasting it with the sinfulness of others.
Though Jonah knew God to be gracious and merciful, he secretly wished that God would not forgive the people of Nineveh. He had to learn another lesson that, not only is God omnipresent, he is equally rich in mercy to all who call Him. God caused the tree that was giving Jonah shed to wither such that the sun scotched him. Again, Jonah was very angry. But the Lord said to him, “You pity the plant, for which you did not labor, nor did you make it grow, which came into being in the night, and perished in a night. And should not I pity Nineveh, the great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not know their right from their left, and also much cattle?”
So, the Lord considered Nineveh as the work of His hands, His ignorant children. He inclined a fatherly heart towards them, even to His wayward children. This fatherly disposition of God towards us is an effective starting point of prayer and petition. In contrition we realize we are mere ignorant children of our heavenly Father, and we look up to Him in prayer that His fatherly heart may favor us. That is why in teaching His disciples to pray Jesus taught them to pray thus: “Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.” Amen.
St Bruno, pray for us. Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Ojo, Lagos.
Wednesday October 6th, 2021.