Saint for the day: Francis Borgia (October 28, 1510 – September 30, 1572)
Jonah 3:1-10 – Psalm 130 – Luke 10:38-40
“When God saw by the Ninevites how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it out.” (Luke 10:42)
This entire story of Jonah and the Ninevites is filled with all kinds of examples of how not to react to the voice of God when it comes to us. Still, with all the ups and downs to this story, we can easily see how patient God is with us and how we can’t really hide from God when He calls us to action. The opening lines of our first scripture from the Book of Jonah set the scene for us: “The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time!” So he sets out proclaiming what the Lord is going to do if the people don’t mend their ways right now! And lo and behold they believed him and the Lord saw their good intentions and relented of the threat he had planned to inflect on them. In many ways this story is very much like things that we heard as children when our parents told us of all the horrible things that would happen to us if we didn’t eat our vegetables. For the people of the Old Testament it was a reminder that God hardly ever gives up on us and always gives us second chances to get back on the road to the Kingdom.
Then when we hear today’s Gospel Scripture – which is going at it’s own speed and not necessarily intended to compliment the reading from Jonah – we hear Jesus telling Martha, “… you are anxious about many things … there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.” (Luke 10:40-42) That “better part” was to listen to the Lord. It’s just happenstance that Jonah didn’t really listen to the voice of the Lord and it got him in all kinds of trouble. But still, God kept the channels of communication open and didn’t give up on him. Once again, it’s not an either or situation but a case of both/and. We take time to listen to the Lord and try to follow in His way while at the same time realizing that someone has to do the dishes! The bottom line for today might be the quest for us to be open to hearing the Lord’s voice – in whatever way He speaks it to us – as we struggle to make our way to the Kingdom. Amen!