Catholic Daily Liturgical Guide 09.03.2022
JONAH 3: 1 – 10
The word of the Lord came to Jonah, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.” 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. Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he cried, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 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. Then tidings reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, and covered himself with sack cloth, and sat in ashes. 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, but let man and beast be covered with sack cloth, and let them cry mightily to God; yes, let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence which is in his hands. Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?” 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.
The Word of the Lord.
Psalm 51: 3 – 4, 12 – 13, 18 – 19 (R.) 19b
R/. A broken and humbled heart, O God, you will not spurn
Have mercy on me, O God,
According to your merciful love;
According to your great compassion,
Blot out my transgressions.
Wash me completely from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin. R/.
Create a pure heart for me, O God;
renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me away from your presence;
take not your holy spirit from me. R/.
For in sacrifice you take no delight;
Burnt offering from me would not please you.
My sacrifice to God, a broken spirit:
A broken and humbled heart,
O God, you will not spurn. R/.
VERSE BEFORE THE GOSPEL
Joel 2: 12 – 13.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ. Even now, says the Lord, return to me with all your heart, for I am gracious and merciful. Glory and praise to you, O Christ
LUKE 11: 29 – 32
At that time: When the crowds were increasing, Jesus 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. For as Jonah became a sign to the men of Nineveh, so will the Son of man be to this generation. The queen of the South will arise at the judgement 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. The men of Nineveh will arise at the judgement with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
REFLECTION: Responding to the Call to Repent
March 9, 2022
“At the judgment the men of Nineveh will arise with this generation and condemn it, because at the preaching of Jonah they repented, and there is something greater than Jonah here.” (Luke 11:32)
What an interesting way for Jesus to call the people to repentance. Simply put, the people of Nineveh repented when Jonah preached to them. However, the people in Jesus’ time did not. The result is that, at the end of time, the people of Nineveh will be given the responsibility of condemning those who failed to listen to Jesus.
The first thing we should take from this is that condemnation for refusing to repent of one’s sins is real and serious. Jesus is speaking about eternal damnation to the people who fail to listen to His preaching. As a result of this very strong teaching of Jesus, we should sincerely look at our own willingness to repent, or lack thereof.
Secondly, it’s important to point out that the people Jesus chastised were far more blessed with the prophetic message than the people of Jonah’s time. Remember that Jonah was a man who, at first, ran from God and from his mission. He did not want to go to Nineveh and only did so after being brought there in the belly of a whale against his will. It’s hard to imagine that Jonah would have subsequently preached with a wholehearted zeal. But, nonetheless, his preaching was effective.
The people of Jesus’ time were blessed with hearing the actual words of the Savior of the World. But so are we! We have the Gospels, the teachings of the Church, the witness of the great saints, the shepherding of the Holy Father, the Sacraments and so much more. We have countless methods of obtaining the Gospel message in our technological age and, yet, we can easily fail to heed Christ’s message.
Reflect, today, upon your own willing response to the words of Jesus. He speaks to us in powerful ways and yet we so often fail to listen. Our failure to listen leads to a failure of complete repentance from our sins. If this is you, reflect also upon the words of severe condemnation that await those who are obstinate. This realization should fill us with a holy fear and motivate us to listen to the preaching of our Lord.
Savior of the World, I know You speak to me in countless ways. You preach through Your Scriptures, Your Church and in my life of prayer. Help me to heed Your voice and accept all You say with perfect obedience and submission. I love You, my dear Lord, and I repent of my sin. Jesus, I trust in You.