All of us are familiar with the story of Jonah. Called by God to go to Nineveh and preach the need for conversion, he refused, even fled to avoid such a calling. As is always the case, God eventually prevailed over Jonah…after quite a fishing expedition…and Jonah arrived for the great work of converting Nineveh.
Things must have been quite bad in this great, ancient city, as God was prepared to completely destroy the city, a city so large it took three days to walk from one end to the other. Yet, after only one day of Jonah preaching: “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be destroyed,” the king, all the people, even the animals, heeded this call to conversion. (see Jonah 3:1-10)
Calling this great story of conversion to mind, Jesus preaches in his own time regarding Himself: there is something greater than Jonah here. (Luke 11:29-32) This is a part of the grace of the Lenten season, to discover the great Truth that is Jesus. Perhaps part of our fasting and giving alms and prayer is to reveal what other “things” we have come to treasure more the Jesus.
May the grace of this season and call to deeper conversion lead us to follow the example of the people of Nineveh and rediscover the greatness of Christ. May the grace of this season re-orient us to Christ, and help us discover again what it is to live in and for Jesus Christ.