Step #1: Lectio / Read
Click the link below or open your Bible to the passage and read through the reading at least once, paying attention to what is happening in the text.
Step #2: Meditatio / Meditate
Use the following meditation to help you reflect more deeply on the Scripture (you may want to read the passage again).
Jonah is really angry in today’s Gospel, like REALLY angry. He’s angry because God did not deal out justice and mercy as Jonah saw fit. While Jonah seems to act more like a toddler throwing a temper-tantrum, I think if we really think back on our lives, we can all think of times when we acted similarly.
There is a natural inclination in us to want God to respond to the injustice we see around us and a real call to do something about it. We see this in a real way as we are in the midst of Respect Life month. There is certainly a call to action and awareness and prayer, but I think we often mistake this call as a call to take matters into our own hands.
I recently heard on a podcast some hard truth about forgiveness: forgiveness is not about taking matters of justice into our own hands; forgiveness is about letting go and realizing that true justice and mercy are in God’s hands. And honestly, that should take a lot of pressure off of us, to not feel like we are the ones in charge of making sure justice is done.
However, it can be hard to see others forgiven and forego the punishment we think they deserve, much like the parable of the prodigal son. In reality, we should be rejoicing when a sinner or a lost one returns to the Church and experience conversion and find mercy and forgiveness from God. Ninevah repented because of the message God sent to them through the prophet Jonah, and yet it seems illogical that Jonah would not be rejoicing at their conversion and repentance!
May we not allow our hearts to grow hardened to the conversion and repentance of sinners, and may we continue to seek out the mercy of the Lord.
Step #3: Oratio / Pray
These questions are to be used to talk to God; have a conversation with the Lord about these questions and what is going on in your heart as you pray today.
Do I get frustrated when I see people being pardoned for their sins? Or do I rejoice in their repentance?
Do I allow God to dole out justice? Or do I try to take justice into my own hands?
Am I continually seeking conversion and mercy in my own heart?
Step #4: Contemplatio / Contemplate
In this step, you listen. Stop talking, let God speak to your heart. You may repeat one of these short phrases to focus your mind on the Lord.
"You delight in showing mercy."
"Mercy triumphs over judgment."
"Do not let my heart grow hardened."
Step #5: Actio / Act
In light of today's reading and your time spent in prayer with the Lord, what concrete action or actions will you take to let this encounter with the Lord bear fruit in you today?
Rejoice in the conversion of sinners, and seek out repentance yourself.
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Today's prayer was prepared by Maggie Overbeck, Director of Youth Ministry at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Huntley, IL.
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