The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth.
When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
A week ago we received ashes on our foreheads with the invitation to “Repent and believe the Good News.”As Jonah went through Nineveh, its citizens heeded his warning from God, donned the sackcloth, and repented in order that they might be saved.
Seven days into our Lenten journey, how have we repented? How are we holding up our Lenten promises? If you are going strong so far, keep that“win-streak”going! If you have faltered, today is a great day to turn things around. We are not expected to be perfect—we are human, after all. The knowledge that God loves us is the good news that we can live out one minute, one hour, one day at a time.
—Connor Walters is a communications coordinator at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland. He also coaches rowing and co-moderates the school’s Saint Benedict Joseph Labre Ministry to the Homeless.
God, loving and just, touch my heart so I may grow closer to you these days of Lent.
Help me grow in your grace and share your life with those I live with and meet during the day.
May all of us come safely to the joy and hope of Easter. Amen.