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Reading 1

Jonah was greatly displeased

and became angry that God did not carry out the evil

he threatened against Nineveh.

He prayed, "I beseech you, LORD,

is not this what I said while I was still in my own country?

This is why I fled at first to Tarshish.

I knew that you are a gracious and merciful God,

slow to anger, rich in clemency, loath to punish.

And now, LORD, please take my life from me;

for it is better for me to die than to live."

But the LORD asked, "Have you reason to be angry?"

Jonah then left the city for a place to the east of it,

where he built himself a hut and waited under it in the shade,

to see what would happen to the city.

And when the LORD God provided a gourd plant

that grew up over Jonah's head,

giving shade that relieved him of any discomfort,

Jonah was very happy over the plant.

But the next morning at dawn

God sent a worm that attacked the plant,

so that it withered.

And when the sun arose, God sent a burning east wind;

and the sun beat upon Jonah's head till he became faint.

Then Jonah asked for death, saying,

"I would be better off dead than alive."

But God said to Jonah,

"Have you reason to be angry over the plant?"

"I have reason to be angry," Jonah answered, "angry enough to die."

Then the LORD said,

"You are concerned over the plant which cost you no labor

and which you did not raise;

it came up in one night and in one night it perished.

And should I not be concerned over Nineveh, the great city,

in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons

who cannot distinguish their right hand from their left,

not to mention the many cattle?"


Jonah was a minor prophet whose task was to prophesy the destruction of Nineveh if they did not repent. He tries to escape from God. Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry when the Ninevites repented. And God answered him..."Have you reason to be angry?"....and Jonah answered, "I would be better off dead than alive."

Do we have those conversations with God? Most likely we will all say, "yes". Any grievance, misunderstanding, misjudgments, our lives affected by poor decisions of others, injustices, unfairness, etc....the list goes on and on. It is very good to be honest and truthful with God. But do we talk to Him for counsel, direction, to be close, to know Him and rest in His peace, praising and in thanksgiving?

I don't understand why Jonah did not want the Ninevites to repent and be spared. "I would be better off dead than alive." Jonah knew God is the God of mercy and compassion. He knew what was said in Exodus. "So the Lord passed before him and proclaimed: 'the Lord, the Lord, a God gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love and fidelity.'" (Exodus 34:6)

Jonah wanted to die because he had succeeded in his mission. And God asked,

"Have you reason to be angry?"

Who are we to be angry with God? Will our anger bring us to sin? Watch the example of Jesus: had intimate prayer with His Father, persisted and persevered in continual prayer. He was humble in prayer and always prayed in thanksgiving. He was never angry with His Father. His Father's will was foremost.

Pray the Lord's prayer found in today's Luke's Gospel version.

"Lord, teach us to pray just as John taught his disciples."

He said to them, "When you pray, say:

Father, hallowed be your name,

your Kingdom come.

Give us each day our daily bread

and forgive us our sins

for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us,

and do not subject us to the final test."

God Bless You


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