Reluctant Jonahs or Eager Disciples? 

[These are the readings used in all Roman Catholic and in many Protestant Churches.  You may read them here if you did not already hear them: LINK]

The word of the Lord came to Jonah saying
At once.

Jonah fled in the opposite direction.

The word of the Lord came to Simon and Andrew, James and John
and immediately they responded by following Jesus.

Who are we?
Reluctant Jonahs or eager disciples?

Who me? Questioned Jonah of God
To Nineveh?..
not likely,
or any day.
They’re evil outsiders, with strange customs and creeds.
– me help them – no way.

‘Pure’ hesitant Jonah, didn’t want to believe
that God’s mercy – so deep, wide and gracious,
embraces people of different races!

Jonah’s story – parabolic, but clear
illustrates why God’s call
to reach out to foreigners filled Jonah with fear.

Poor desperate Jonah convinced he could leave
the presence of God, set sail for Tarshish,
– the tempestuous storm, and, of course, the great fish,

God’s persistent call came once more
to a seaweed-crowned Jonah, spewed up on the shore,
who, not surprisingly, got up and went
to Nineveh with the call to repent.

The call was successful much to Jonah’s dismay
for God’s mercy and love were not Jonah’s way.

How about us?
What do we do and say?

This story of Jonah is included in Scripture
to challenge with questions about race and culture.

How inclusive are we, in this land we call home
if colour and eyes don’t mirror our own?

How tolerant and just –
to those who look and seem different – from us.

Do we condemn others and God, in Jonah-like anger
over evil and war, unemployment and hunger?
Calling on God to make people care
to love one another, to heal and to share
the resources we have with all who have needs.

But aren’t we to image God’s words and God’s deeds?

When Jesus proclaimed the good news of God
he said to all who would hear
“Repent and believe the good news.”
“The kingdom of God has come near”

‘And Jesus saw Simon and his brother Andrew,
James, son of Zebedee and his brother John…
and said to them, “follow me” ‘
and immediately they left what they were doing and followed him.

Jesus’ call to follow him is a call to you and to me
whoever we are,
whatever we do
however young,
however old…

How do we hear and respond to his call…..
As reluctant Jonahs or as eager disciples?

— Moira B Laidlaw

Homily LINK:


About Paul Wharton

I am a cradle Catholic, a native West Virginian, and a priest since April 24, 1982. Spiritual Direction has made a tremendous difference in my life and I encourage people to try it out. My motto is "Progress not perfection." I am grateful that God has done for me what I could not do for myself.
This entry was posted in Scripture, Songs and Poetry, Wisdom. Bookmark the permalink.

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