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Lenten Weekday
Jonah 3:1-10
Psalm 51:3-4, 12-13, 18-19
Luke 11:29-32
Jonah spoke in the old testament about the people and king of the great city of
Ninevah, “When God saw by their actions how they turned from their evil way,
he repented of the evil that he had threatened to do to them; he did not carry it
Our ancient prayers through the Psalms ask us, “A clean heart create for
me, O God, and a steadfast spirit renew within me. My sacrifice, O God, is a con-
trite spirit; a heart contrite and humbled, O God, you
will not spurn.” In Luke’s gospel, Jesus then refers to
Jonah by speaking of Ninevah and the parallel of the
evil of the world during the past and present time.
“Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will
the Son of Man be to this generation.”
As we begin our spiritual journey or pilgrimage through Lent, we are
taking time to ask some very important questions of ourselves. Like
Jonah was assessing the people of his time (the Ninevites in our first
reading), during Lent we are given the chance to reassess our core val-
ues and actions. We ask of ourselves some important questions: who
are we, how are we, where are we (not just physical location, but men-
tally, spiritually and in our relationships) and who, how and where we
want to be in the future. For Jonah, like many traits of Judaism, life is
black and white, evil or good, rich or poor with little grey area. In
Luke’s gospel, Jesus, like in many of his teachings, pulls from his own
knowledge and education of his religion - Judaism, and parallels his
time with the past. How do we try to help people? Create a mirror im-
agery that allows the person to identify with a past event that relates
to their current life. Jesus uses this imagery with the teachings of Jo-
nah to have his listeners understand the path of the people of Israel.
Jesus is reminding his people that God is forgiving of people who
change for the good and is a just and loving God. As in many of Jesus’