Wednesday of the First Week
Today’s Scripture readings tell us of Jonah’s cry for repentance, his scurry through Nineveh telling others to stop their evil ways, repent, and return to what is good and right. God is merciful. The Gospel highlights God’s mercy again, this time with Jesus as the carrier of the vision, “greater than Solomon,” telling the people they need to repent. What will it take for us to heed those same words in our time? There is such evil and destruction in the current events of our world that frankly, it’s easy to focus elsewhere, to become overwhelmed by the depth of what is happening and be paralyzed, unable to act, or understand how we can change these larger circumstances of evil.
But if we listen to Jonah—“turn away from…evil ways”—and look further into the content of Luke’s Gospel—where two verses later, Jesus speaks: “Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness…”—we begin to see that it’s not about the larger evils that abound, but who it is that we are that requires awareness. Are we conscious of our own selfish intentions? Do we recognize how we respond to and treat others in our daily interactions? Do we inspire peace or fuel hatred? Are we humble enough to recognize our imperfections? And as the king of Ninevah did, do we strip down and sit in God’s presence, asking for forgiveness and allow ourselves to be open to God’s mercy and direction?
Our response to much of the violence in our world today often can be: “it’s not my problem,” or “it’s a shame…but what can I do?” Every day we can do something. We can look at ourselves and ask for God’s mercy. We can live more authentically the call of Jesus—to love God and likewise, to love our neighbor.
Merciful God, remind us of Your kindness and Your gracious love. Help us to know You are with us, and with Your presence, to know our individual lives can make positive change in the world.
Heidi St. Peter, ’96, Assistant Director of Academic Support Services
First Reading: Jonah 3:1-10
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
Gospel: Luke 11:29-32
Daily Scripture readings can be found online at the USCCB website