Jonah 3:1-10 Reflection:
The first reading today contains one of my favourite lines in scripture when the Lord speaks to Jonah and says: “Up, go to Nineveh, the great city...”
Poor old Jonah gets no time to prepare, he is given no induction or training as a prophet, he is just told to get up and go. But whatever way he spoke to the people or whatever his demeanour, the preaching of Jonah worked - for the city of Nineveh repented and the king called a fast and told the people to put on sackcloth and ashes.
In response to this “God relented: he did not inflict on them the disaster which he had threatened.”
The story of Jonah and Nineveh carries a lot of lessons for us. Sometimes God comes to us all of a sudden and we just know what has to be done; we have to get up and go. It may be in time of disaster, or an accident or sickness or it may be when a friend is in desperate need. But when the time comes for us to act we know what we have to do.
And when we obey like this there is often a huge turn around in the crisis; God comes into the middle of it and brings stability. We see it so often in our lives; all these episodes are examples of God at work if we listen and see them through the eyes of faith.
That is why Jonah appeals so much to me. It is practical and reflects everyday experience.