jonah or jesus in you?
"This is the word of the Lord that came to Jonah." —Jonah 1:1
Jonah prefigured Jesus, for Jesus said: "Just as Jonah spent three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of Man spend three days and three nights in the bowels of the earth" (Mt 12:40). Both Jonah and Jesus were prophets who preached a message of repentance (Mk 1:15; Jon 1:2). Both Jonah and Jesus fell asleep in a boat in the middle of a storm (Mk 4:38; Jon 1:5). However, that's where the similarity ends.
Jonah was a reluctant prophet because he hated the people of Nineveh, who were bitter, oppressive enemies of the Jews. In contrast, Jesus loved His enemies. For example, He made Samaritans the heroes of some of His stories, although the Samaritans and Jews were enemies to each other (see Lk 10:33ff; 17:16). Jesus forgave us, His enemies, who crucified Him by our sins. He forgave us even as He was being tortured to death (Lk 23:34).
"To err is human; to forgive is divine," and Jesus wondrously manifests His divinity by His forgiveness. Although we may not admit it, we will be like Jonah or like Jesus. Be like the forgiving Jesus.
Prayer: Father, forgive me as I forgive my worst enemy (Mt 6:12).
Promise: "Out of my distress, I called to the Lord, and He answered me; from the midst of the nether world I cried for help, and You heard my voice." —Jon 2:3
Praise: Remarkably, through God's grace, Linda has forgiven in her heart the person who murdered her daughter.
Reference: (For related teaching, order our leaflets, Unforgiveness Is the Cause and 14 Questions on Forgiveness, or our tapes on Unforgiveness on audio AV 41-1 or video V-41.)
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert A. Stricker, May 8, 2001
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 18, 2001