Daily homily thoughts, 3/8

Today we hear part of the story of Jonah.  He was sent by God to Nineveh, but he went the other way and caught a boat to outrun–or outfloat–God. He set out for Tarshish. Perhaps he was afraid of being made fun of, laughed at, or beat up. So he neglected God’s will and caught a boat in the other direction. Lesson #1: When God calls us to go one way, we better not go the other.

Then God sent a storm and he was swallowed by a big fish.  We know the story: after three days and nights, he is coughed up onto the shore and given another chance.  This time he goes to Nineveh and does what is asked of him. Lesson #2: It is never too late to do God’s will.

Then Jonah preaches one sentence and all of Nineveh is converted (Jonah 3:4). All his fears, they ended up being empty.  Lesson #3: When we let go of our fears, amazing things happen! Then the Ninevites took up penitential practices like our own Lenten practices: fasting, ashes, prayer.

Lesson #4 is in the behavior of the Ninevites that caused God to send Jonah in the first place.  They were guilty of the seven deadly sins.  Here is how to remember them.  A plage is a seashore, like the shore Jonah was spit out upon.  If you misspell it–with two Gs–and make it plural, then you get: PLAGGES.

  • Pride
  • Lust
  • Anger
  • Gluttony
  • Greed
  • Envy
  • Sloth