1 Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah the second time, saying,2 “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”3 So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, three days’ journey in breadth.4 Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he cried, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”
5 And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them to the least of them.6 Then tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.7 And he made proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything; let them not feed, or drink water,8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them cry mightily to God; yea, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands.9 Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?”10 When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way, God repented of the evil which he had said he would do to them; and he did not do it.
29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign shall be given to it except the sign of Jonah.30 For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation.31 The queen of the South will arise at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them; for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.
32 The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
THE FIRST READING: Having been miraculously saved from a water death, Jonah submit to God’s call that he go to Nineveh and put the king on notice that he must proclaim a fourty day national fast, failing which Nineveh would be eviscerated! Upon receiving the order from Jonah, the King issued a proclamation ordering all citizens to fast. Moreover, he took the leed when he removed his kingly robe and covered himself with ashes—a sign that he submit to almighty God—hoping that God reverse His order.
THE GOSPEL READING: Having been accused of being deamon possesed when He restored the blind man’s sight using clay and spittle, Christ draw the conclusion that the naysayers; those who question His divinity and authority, is part of an evil generation! With this said, Christ opined that His unbelieving contemporaries need a sign from someone like Jonah who proclaimed a fast and the Queen of the South, who traveled from afar to hear and appreciate Solomons wisdom, knowing that their witness may reverse the rotten state of the people.
We are called to be true witnesses of Christ living in us during and post the lenten period that we have embarked upon. To be sure, it is very likely that Satan will increase his attempts to derail our efforts to submit, be holy and illuminated by the light of Christ during and post this lenten period. You see, Satan does not want God to “repent of the evil,”meaning that he does not want us to fast and pray so God may reverse our fallen state by intervening in our lives, saving us from being eviscerated by evil!
LET US PRAY:Psalms 51:3-4,12-13,18-19
3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.4 Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment.
12 Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners will return to thee.
18 Do good to Zion in thy good pleasure; rebuild the walls of Jerusalem,19 then wilt thou delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on thy altar.
Commentary. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast days.
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