Introduction to the book of Jonah.
The story of Jonah has great theological import. It concerns a disobedient prophet who rejected his divine commission, was cast overboard in a storm and swallowed by a great fish, rescued in a marvelous manner, and returned to his starting point. Now he obeys and goes to Nineveh, the capital of Israel’s ancient enemy. The Ninevites listen to his message of doom and repent immediately. All, from king to lowliest subject, humble themselves in sackcloth and ashes. Seeing their repentance, God does not carry out the punishment planned for them. At this, Jonah complains, angry because the Lord spares them. This fascinating story caricatures a narrow mentality which would see God’s interest extending only to Israel, whereas God is presented as concerned with and merciful to even the inhabitants of Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire which brought the Northern Kingdom of Israel to an end and devastated Jerusalem in 701 B.C. The Lord is free to “repent” and change his mind. Jonah seems to realize this possibility and wants no part in it. But the story also conveys something of the ineluctable character of the prophetic calling. The book is replete with irony, wherein much of its humor lies. The name “Jonah” means “dove” in Hebrew, but Jonah’s character is anything but dove-like. Jonah is commanded to go east to Nineveh but flees toward the westernmost possible point, only to be swallowed by a great fish and dumped back at this starting point. The sailors pray to their gods, but Jonah is asleep in the hold. The prophet’s preaching is a minimum message of destruction, while it is the king of Nineveh who calls for repentance and conversion; the instant conversion of the Ninevites is greeted by Jonah with anger and sulking. He reproaches the Lord in words that echo Israel’s traditional praise of his mercy. Jonah is concerned about the loss of the gourd but not about the possible destruction of 120,000 Ninevites. Unlike other prophetic books, this is not a collection of oracles but the story of a disobedient, narrow-minded prophet who is angry at the outcome of the sole message he delivers. It is difficult to date but almost certainly is postexilic and may reflect the somewhat narrow, nationalistic reforms of Ezra and Nehemiah. As to genre, it has been classified in various ways, such as parable or satire. The “sign” of Jonah is interpreted in two ways in the New Testament: His experience of three days and nights in the fish is a “type” of the experience of the Son of Man, and the Ninevites’ reaction to the preaching of Jonah is contrasted with the failure of Jesus’ generation to obey the preaching of one who is “greater than Jonah”
· Do to the Nineveh 90
JUNE 25 Thursday in the Octave of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Jonah, Chapter 1, Verse 5
Then the sailors were AFRAID and each one cried to his god. To lighten the ship for themselves, they threw its cargo into the sea. Meanwhile, Jonah had gone down into the hold of the ship, and lay there fast asleep.
According to bible-study-for-everyone.com:
Christians regard the prophet Jonah as a type of foreshadowing of Jesus. Jesus said that he did not come for the healthy but for the sick. The healthy are well and they know it. So, they have no need of a doctor. But the sick may be diseased and not know it. They require someone to diagnose their sickness and prescribe the remedy. They need a healer. People can be sick physically. And they can be sick mentally, spiritually, emotionally. For instance, the physical ailment of blindness is plain because the person cannot see. But there is also the blindness of selfishness. People can be blind in many ways. A person can be blind to themselves. They see with their eyes, but they do not understand what they see. Or they can be blind as to their experience. They interact with their world and with other people but remain isolated and lonely because they cannot see the depth and love within their relationships. Or they have very deep emotional or mental feelings, but they do not see (understand) from where the feelings came. They do not know what the feelings indicate. They are in the dark as to any remedy. Jesus came in order for us to understand, to see and gain a remedy. He came as the source of knowledge, as light in darkness and as the cure for our illness. Those in light do not need a lamp but those in darkness need the light. Jesus was sent as the light that shines in the darkness. From the beginning to the end of the bible the theme is repeated. Humankind is lost due to deafness, blindness, ignorance, stupidity, arrogance, selfishness and greed. That is the first act of the play.
The second act is God seeking and searching for lost humankind, looking for them in the various places of their fear, the haunts of darkness, the hiding places of those who are afraid of God.
The final act is played out in the response of each individual and society, each nation and epoch of human history.
· Will the people always wander outside in the desolation or will they be admitted once again into the intimacy of the Garden of Paradise?
· Will God win and regain the trust and fidelity of his creation; or will humankind forever remain estranged?
· Will man and God be enemies or friends?
The Gift of Knowledge
St. Thomas Aquinas taught that the gift of knowledge brings to perfection the supernatural virtue of faith, but it is also linked to the perfection of the cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, and temperance. The way to cultivate the gift of knowledge is to continue to study our faith: Take time to read sacred Scripture, perhaps one chapter of the New Testament each day. In this manner, one would cover the whole New Testament in less than a year. Read a section of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, just a section. Besides praying each day, 15 minutes devoted to such spiritual reading fuels the soul so that the Holy Spirit can set afire the great gift of knowledge; thereby, we can know the Lord and know His ways. Saint Paul well captured this gift: “I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge of my Lord Jesus Christ. For His sake, I have forfeited everything; I have accounted all else rubbish so that Christ may be my wealth,” (Phil 3:8-9).
Here is some scary Knowledge
Euthanasia laws are currently being considered in many U.S. states. They’re being pushed by liberals and progressives who are already on the record calling for the mass killing of Christians, conservatives and Trump supporters.
In exactly the same way the communist Chinese government targets political dissidents — Falun Gong members — for arrests, executions and organ harvesting, left-wing authoritarians in America will sooner or later call for the mass execution and organ harvesting of Christians and political dissidents who do not kowtow to the LGBT agenda of child mass murder and taxpayer-funded mutilations (like what has just been made a matter of law in Vermont).
As has been made abundantly obvious by the mass censorship and de-platforming of conservatives, liberals do not see conservatives or Christians as human beings. Thus, killing them and harvesting their organs is not in any way contradictory to the “values” of Leftists who place literally no value on any human life other than their own.
Remember: These are people who murder their own babies after they’re born. Do you really think they won’t murder their political enemies?
We’ve already seen this happen in communist China, and it all started with the collapse of Western values, reports Breitbart News:
The “collapse of Western values,” a “massive case of denial” in the free world, and “religious bigotry” towards the Falun Gong spiritual movement have allowed China to potentially expand its industrial-scale harvesting of live organs to Uighur Muslims imprisoned in concentration camps, Ethan Gutmann, author of several seminal reports on the topic, told Breitbart News.
In the update to their research in 2016, Gutmann, Kilgour, and Matas revealed that China was conducting between 50,000 and 90,000 more transplant surgeries than the official government estimates of organ donors, even including death row inmates, could account for. Filling the gap between documented organ donations and actual transplants completed were the bodies of prisoners of conscience, the report concluded. Both Falun Gong survivors and doctors who have testified to engaging in live organ harvesting have corroborated the report.
Does any informed person honestly believe that Leftists in America — filled with rage, hatred and the desire for total destruction of their political enemies — won’t resort to mass murder and mass organ harvesting if no one stops them?
America’s Leftists are rapidly shifting toward the twisted, dangerous political philosophies of communism and authoritarianism. All voices of conservatives, Christians and civil liberties are being crushed. Conservatives are even being de-platformed from banks, jobs and universities just because they believe in principles and ethics. Even the ACLU has become a legal front for Satanism, arguing that Satanists have the right to erect statues in front of government buildings across America.
The abortion (infanticide) industry is rapidly accelerating in Leftist-held states, and the rhetoric of Leftists increasingly demands the mass killing of conservatives. It’s not difficult to see where this is headed if something dramatic doesn’t change soon.
God is watching. Which path will America choose?
St. William of Monte Virgine, Abbot
William was born in Vercelli, Italy, in 1085. His parents died when he was a baby. Relatives raised him. When William grew up, he became a hermit. He worked a miracle, curing a blind man, and found himself famous. William was too humble to be happy with the people’s admiration. He really wanted to remain a hermit so that he could concentrate on God. He went away to live alone on a high, wild mountain. No one would bother him now. But even there he was not to remain alone. Men gathered around the saint and they built a monastery dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. Because of William’s monastery, people gave the mountain a new name. They called it the Mountain of the Virgin.
Things to Do:
· William's pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James the Apostle in Spain was the turning point of his life. Is it not easily possible for you to make a pilgrimage to some holy place in your neighborhood now during the summertime? First of all, however, are you familiar with the relics in your own parish church? Remember that any visit to a church is a pilgrimage to the grave of a saint!
Today is my Stepson Ryan Patrick’s birthday. He was a US Paratrooper who suffered knee problems as a result of his service and now serves as a critical care nurse continuing to serve. It is my hope someday to be able to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of St. James, like St. William, with Ryan. I ask your prayers.
· I will not delude you with prospects of peace and consolations; on the contrary, prepare for great battles. Be vigilant.