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Jonah 3:1-10

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across.Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 





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Encountering God

The irony of the story of Jonah and the Ninevites strikes the heart of its reader.  The city of Nineveh is so great and prosperous that it takes three days to walk across.   Yet, the whole city of Nineveh, and especially its powerful king, receives Jonah’s message with the humility and contrition necessary for the metanoia (or conversion) that brings about salvation.  Most striking is the city’s response in relation to the simplicity of Jonah’s preaching.  It is clearly not Jonah’s preaching that strikes the heart of the people of Nineveh.  One even gets the sense that Jonah is phoning it in.  His preaching is neither eloquent nor profound.  It is hardly convincing, let alone moving.  It is not Jonah’s preaching that leads to the city’s change of heart; It is their personal encounter with the “Word of the Lord” that they encounter through Jonah.

In the Gospel passage from today’s Mass (Luke 11:29-32), Jesus teaches us that this generation will not receive a sign.  But, we are also told that we have received something far greater than Jonah in the person of Jesus Christ. A sign is something which points and directs toward another reality.  In Christ, we have received the fullness of the reality of God’s Word itself.  This personal encounter is God’s gift that continually brings about the turning of our hearts and minds to God, to which no mere sign could ever bring us.       

—Tom Weiler is a teacher in the department of Religious Studies and the moderator of Club Vinyl at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.  

 





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Prayer

Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.

—Prayer for the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday

 





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Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions
Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

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Ignatian spirituality reminds us that God pursues us in the routines of our home and work life, and in the hopes and fears of life's challenges. The founder of the Jesuits, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, created the Spiritual Exercises to deepen our relationship with Christ and to move our contemplation into service. May this prayer site anchor your day and strengthen your resolve to remember what truly matters.

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DAILY INSPIRATION

February 21, 2018

Scripture

Jonah 3:1-10

The word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, saying, “Get up, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim to it the message that I tell you.”So Jonah set out and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly large city, a three days’ walk across.Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s walk. And he cried out, “Forty days more, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!”

And the people of Nineveh believed God; they proclaimed a fast, and everyone, great and small, put on sackcloth. When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he rose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

Then he had a proclamation made in Nineveh: “By the decree of the king and his nobles: No human being or animal, no herd or flock, shall taste anything. They shall not feed, nor shall they drink water. Human beings and animals shall be covered with sackcloth, and they shall cry mightily to God. All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”

When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it.

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 


Ignatian Reflection

Encountering God

The irony of the story of Jonah and the Ninevites strikes the heart of its reader.  The city of Nineveh is so great and prosperous that it takes three days to walk across.   Yet, the whole city of Nineveh, and especially its powerful king, receives Jonah’s message with the humility and contrition necessary for the metanoia (or conversion) that brings about salvation.  Most striking is the city’s response in relation to the simplicity of Jonah’s preaching.  It is clearly not Jonah’s preaching that strikes the heart of the people of Nineveh.  One even gets the sense that Jonah is phoning it in.  His preaching is neither eloquent nor profound.  It is hardly convincing, let alone moving.  It is not Jonah’s preaching that leads to the city’s change of heart; It is their personal encounter with the “Word of the Lord” that they encounter through Jonah.

In the Gospel passage from today’s Mass (Luke 11:29-32), Jesus teaches us that this generation will not receive a sign.  But, we are also told that we have received something far greater than Jonah in the person of Jesus Christ. A sign is something which points and directs toward another reality.  In Christ, we have received the fullness of the reality of God’s Word itself.  This personal encounter is God’s gift that continually brings about the turning of our hearts and minds to God, to which no mere sign could ever bring us.       

—Tom Weiler is a teacher in the department of Religious Studies and the moderator of Club Vinyl at Saint Ignatius College Prep in Chicago.  

 


Prayer

Turn away from sin and be faithful to the Gospel.

—Prayer for the imposition of ashes on Ash Wednesday

 

THE POPE'S PRAYERS

Pray with the Pope

The Holy Father’s Monthly Prayer Intentions Brought to you by Apostleship of Prayer the first Friday of each month.

PRAYER REQUESTS

DAILY EXAMEN

The Daily Examen is a prayer technique developed by St. Ignatius to help us reflect on the events of the day to discern God’s presence and direction. When Ignatius founded the Society of Jesus, he required the Jesuits to practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.

The Examen structure presented below is adapted from a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. Click here for more information from our partners in ministry at Loyola Press.

Daily Examen

1. Become aware of God’s presence

God, I believe that at this moment I am in your presence and you are loving me.

2. Review the day with gratitude

God, you know my needs better than I know them. Give me your light and your help to see how you have been with me, both yesterday and today.

3. Pay attention to your emotions

God, help me to be grateful for the moments when people have affirmed me and challenged me. Help me to see how I have responded, and whether I have been kind to others and open to growth.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it

God, forgive me for when I have not done my best or have failed to treat others well. Encourage me, guide me, and continue to bless me.

5. Look toward tomorrow

As I look to the remainder of this day, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be.

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