Today’s Gospel: Luke 11, 29-32
We could reflect on the world’s events today and think Jesus is saying to us, “This generation is an evil generation…” and miss the rest of the message. We are a generation seeking a sign, but are we willing to do what’s necessary to dispose ourselves to see it? Jonah didn’t easily go to Nineveh – he was disobedient and cowardly, afraid of what might happen if he went to a strange town and rebuked the people for their sinfulness. When he turned away from the Lord and his mission, we know Jonah caused himself no small amount of distress. But when Jonah cooperated with God’s mission for him to evangelize, the mission to proclaim the mercy of God, the Ninevites repented. They had to acknowledge their need for the Lord in order to open themselves to receive mercy, but Jonah was the sign – the messenger of mercy – the Lord used to reach them.
It’s unlikely the Lord is going to send me to a faraway land to chastise the people there, but He is calling me (and you) to share the Good News. By the power of the same Holy Spirit, I have experienced the mercy that transformed the lives of the men and women of Nineveh and, like Jonah, I am called out of my comfort zone to share in the mission of mercy. Most days, it is in the way I listen attentively to a friend or my dramatic teenage daughter.
As Pope St. John XXIII said at the opening of the Second Vatican Council, “…the Spouse of Christ prefers to make use of the medicine of mercy rather than that of severity.” Mercy isn’t a sign for us to keep to ourselves, it is one that the Body of Christ must bring to the whole world.
Who has been a messenger of mercy in my life? In what small way can I be a sign of God’s mercy to another?
Lord, Jesus, help me to turn to you with humility and repentance, that I would receive your mercy and share your love with each person I encounter today.
Copyright 2016 Holly Novotny
Holly Novotny is a wife and mother of two home-schooled teenage daughters. The Lord’s mercy and grace radically changed her life and she threw herself into service to the Church in 1999. She is a Lifetime Marian Servant of Divine Providence and as a graduate of the Cenacle School of Spirituality, offers spiritual direction in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.