Fr. Raymond Gramata, Pastor
January 25, 2015
From your Pastor,
As we celebrate the third Sunday of the church’s year, we hear the first reading taken from the prophet Jonah. All of us are fully aware of the famous fish story of Jonah and the whale. But what does this prophet Jonah have to teach us. The first lesson is that God’s will, will be accomplished in spite of ourselves and secondly the sacredness and importance of human life.
Let us look closer at this prophet Jonah. He was not happy with the task that God had given him, which was to preach to the people of Nineveh and get them to convert or God would destroy them. Jonah didn’t want to do this because he did not agree with what God wanting to save the people of Nineveh. Jonah wanted God to destroy them. He did not consider them worth saving because they were not Jewish. So, he ran away from God. But God “found” Jonah and sent him back to preach to the people. As Scripture reminds us, Nineveh was a large city and when the people heard the words of Jonah, they put on sackcloth and ashes. The King ordered the whole city to do this as a sign of their remorse. Jonah left the city, watching for God to destroy it, but He didn’t. Jonah was not happy with God. Jonah was stubborn and wanted things his way.
Does this sometimes sound like us when we pray - we want things our way and not God’s way. God always gives us what is best for us. Scriptures remind us: “If you know how to give good things to your children how much more my heavenly Father will give good things to you.”
The underlying theme of the reading is the sacredness of all human life. God does not want to destroy life. He wants to preserve life and make it better. God does not care what religion your may espouse to, or what nation you belong to – but Jonah did and God’s action did not fit into Jonah’s plan or understanding. We see that mentality still evidenced in our world events today. We see it every time that we turn on the news. Let us get beyond that tunnel vision, the vision of Jonah, and see the beauty of all creation, as our God not only sees it, but created it.