Meditation for Tuesday of the 27th Week in Ordinary Time
(Jonah 3:1-10; Lk 10:38-42)
“The word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time.” Jonah received his vocation anew. He had gone through the waters of the deep, washed off of his ignorance, and stubbornness of heart. “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” He still had to freely choose to go on the mission, but this time, with a will that is totally surrendered to God. As he moved, he realized that the grace of God moved ahead of him, for he had moved only a day’s journey and the whole city repented.
God used Jonah’s ordeal to facilitate the message; he became a SIGN for the people of Nineveh, which made it easier for them to accept his message: “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” By their sack cloths and ashes, the people of Nineveh look up for the mercy of God: “Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?” They realized at that moment the useless ways of life they had adopted. And by looking up to God, they realized what really mattered. As Jonah got a second chance to fulfill his ministry, God accepted the repentance of the people and spared their lives. The mercy of God won the day.
True repentance and spiritual growth always have these two sides: denouncing our sins, and looking up to the love and mercy of God. So, we express contrition for our sins, and through penance, step forward in the new path of love and mercy of God through prayer and acts of charity. “The love of God is the tree, mercy is the fruit”, says Sr Faustina Kowalska in her divine mercy apparitions. This love of God draws us forward to continue looking up to God and avoid falling into sin. It keeps us wrapped at the feet of Jesus, fulfilled and satisfied. Jesus becomes the ultimate sign that leads us to contrition and to remain united with God. Therefore, Jesus called out to Martha, “You are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good portion, which shall not be taken away from her.”
St Maria Faustina Kowalska, pray for us. Amen.
Fr Jude Chinwenwa Nwachukwu, C.Ss.R
Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church,
Tedi-Muwo, Ojo, Lagos.
Tuesday October 5th, 2021.