jonah and the our father
"Your kingdom come." —Luke 11:2
In today's eucharistic readings, Jonah's actions display a striking opposition to the petitions of the Our Father.
Jesus teaches the radical truth that we lowly humans must address Almighty God intimately, yet reverently, as our very own Father (Lk 11:2). Thus we act so as to honor the family name, hallowing the name of the Father (Lk 11:2). Jonah was far from honoring or hallowing God's name in his disobedience.
Jesus teaches us to ask the Father that His kingdom be established (Lk 11:2). Jonah opposed God's will being done in his own life and in the lives of hundreds of thousands of Ninevites (Jon 4:11). Jonah even spent his own money so that God's will couldn't be done, or so he thought (Jon 1:3). He opposed God's mercy being poured out in Nineveh (Jon 4:2), so he headed the opposite direction to Joppa, "away from the Lord" (Jon 1:3).
Jesus teaches us to humbly ask our Father for our basic daily needs, such as bread (Lk 11:3). Jonah angrily berated God for eliminating a short-lived luxury, a shade tree (Jon 4:9).
Jesus teaches us to forgive those who wrong us (Lk 11:4). Jonah couldn't forgive the brutal Ninevites. He headed miles in the other direction when God commanded him to prophesy repentance to Nineveh. Yet when Jonah thought the Ninevites might be struck with heavenly fire, he eagerly set up a ringside seat in hopes of watching them burn in fire and brimstone (Jon 4:5).
Is there a Jonah inside of you? Repent! Live the Our Father.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, pour out God's love in my heart (Rm 5:5).
Promise: "You, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in kindness to all who call upon You." —Ps 86:5
Praise: Josh refused to forgive his mother for a childhood injury. Decades later, his mother donated a kidney to save Josh's life. The two reconciled and now pray together.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 3, 2007
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