We continue to journey with Jonah. Yesterday I mentioned that Jonah was hesitant, reluctant, doubtful and probably the most insincere prophet on the Old Testament. And yet despite all of this internal nastiness He is still effective in bringing about change in the lives of those who live in Nineveh.
Though God is able to use just about anyone to bring about the fulfillment of his will, Jonah remains obstinate.
Into today's reading we get a deeper look into the interior nastiness that rages in Jonah. His true colors shine through today.
Not only is he hesitant and reluctant and insincere but we discover that he is just down right angry and mean. And with this meanness and anger he carries prejudice against the people of Ninevah and quite judgmental as well.
Imagine harboring anger and prejudices against those God wants to extend his rich mercy? How often does anger infect the lives of so many that we know?
Today we should pause to pray for people who live in anger and prejudice against others for whatever reason. Jonah is so twisted by his prejudice and anger that he fails to recognize the beauty of what just happened in Nineveh.
Rather than rejoice in the power of God's goodness and mercy, he sulks and pouts and grows more bitter and desires to die.
Just look at his prayer that he makes, "I knew you were a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger, rich in clemency, loathe to punish. And now, Lord, please take my life from me for it is better for me to die than to live."
Compare that to the prayer Jesus teaches us in the gospel of Luke. "Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our sins for we ourselves forgive everyone in debt to us and do not subject us to the final test."
Which prayer do we make daily in our life? How we choose to pray is indicative of how we choose to live. Do we pray our prejudice or do we let God guide us in prayer?
Below is a little something some one has devises as a way of connecting the Our Father to the theological and cardinal virtues. It is c lever way of connecting prayer to living daily.
Faith: Our Father, who is in heaven, holy is your name
Hope: Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Charity: Give us this day our daily bread
Justice: Forgive us our trespasses
Prudence: As we forgive those who trespass against us
Temperance: Lead us not into temptation
Fortitude: Deliver us from evil.