Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Jonah and Jesus

Today's Catholic church readings are confusing ones.  The first is Chapter 3 (of 4) of the book of Jonah and speaks of God's repentance.  I always find reading that interesting to grapple with, but that is not the main subject of my entry this morning.  In the Gospel of Luke reading that follows, Jesus refers to Jonah when people are looking for a sign and refers to the generation in which he is living as evil.  Pretty harsh words.  As I read the verses from Luke 11, it seems like Jesus is saying "at least people repented when they heard Jonah--look you are being exposed to something even bigger and you aren't paying attention."

While that may be an overly simple interpretation, the contrast between the reading and the Gospel brings me to my main point this morning.   How do I know when I am onto something big as compared with something small?  How do I know when I am being asked to do something big rather than something minor?  How do I know how to prioritize?  Part of it is following my conscience.  That is guided by God through the Holy Spirit.  I do not always seek out incredible things but  simply seek to understand what has come my way and make sure that I act carefully and wisely and not ignore what may be much bigger but is less flashy.  Jesus didn't threaten to have an entire city destroyed in forty days.  But should I need such flashy things to get our attention?  Perhaps meteorologists think so.  It seems like every new storm is described as "the big one" and then only a handful actually are what was predicted.  But again, the question is how to focus, understand, and react even when the signs are subtle.  No easy answers.  A lot to ponder contrasting today's two readings.

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