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something greater (lk 11:32)
"The Lord has made His salvation known." —Psalm 98:2
God can work through us or despite us. Certainly, He would prefer to work through us. However, lest we think that we are irreplaceable, the Church holds up Jonah as a sign for us (Lk 11:29). The fruit which God produced through Jonah was remarkable, for an entire city repented and turned to the Lord (Jon 3:10). But first Jonah had to spend three days "buried" inside a great fish (Jon 2:1). Then on the third day, Jonah received a new life, a foreshadowing of Jesus' Resurrection from the dead on the third day.
Another way to look at the sign of Jonah is that God wants our obedient service. Jonah was unmotivated and spiteful. He preached to Nineveh not because he had a heart to obey God and love the people to whom he was sent, but because that was preferable to being swallowed by a fish. Jonah didn't even want the Ninevites to heed his own message! Jonah didn't preach a message of hope, inspiration, or mercy. And yet, God worked wondrous conversions through Jonah's "preaching."
God called Jonah and worked both with him and despite him. God has also called each of us (Rm 1:1, 6, 7). May we learn from Jonah to wholeheartedly do the will of God in all that he has called us to do for His Kingdom.
Prayer: Father, work through me so thoroughly that others will see that Christ is living in me (Gal 2:19-20).
Promise: "...grace and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ." Rm 1:7
Praise: Pope St. Callistus, one of the early pope-martyrs, praised God by living a life of extraordinary forgiveness.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 11, 2019
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