Verses for the Day:
“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” (Jonah 2:1,2 – NIV)
Blessed be the one who loves and fears God. Like the Ninevites, it will save him from the wrath of God. It will instruct him in the path to the house of life and it will become a path of redemption for him. It will be a source of comfort and strength in difficult places and will show him the place where the righteous dwells. (Sixth Hour, Tuesday of Nineveh Fast)
When we read Chapter One in the Book of Jonah yesterday, we
see how Jonah failed to listen and obey God and found himself in big trouble. Does God punish Jonah? No, instead, God sends a big fish (it is an anonymous sea creature and never is it referred to as a whale) to swallow the prophet. Jonah undergoes the groaning and pain of a rebirth. The three days Jonah spent in the belly of the fish is the turning point of his life and the beginning of his true destiny.
Many a times, the anxieties of life swallow us – it could be work, school, our careers, our family life, our financial situations, our relationships, our sicknesses, our trials etc. At these times, let us not say, “Why do you treat me like this, O Lord? And why did you not rescue me?” God is always telling us to not be afraid even in the midst of all that is swallowing us. God will not disregard us nor abandon us. Always remember the words of St. Paul, “He who flees from tribulation, flees from God.” Sometimes it is in the midst of our trials and distress that we denounce everything and allow ourselves to hear God’s call. Let us all on the second day of the Fast pray not to be like Jonah thinking we can hide our disobedient actions from the presence of the all knowing Lord our God, but to truly believe that “deliverance is from the Lord” (Jonah 2:9-10). May God deliver us from our trials, tribulations and temptations.