Brief story of Jonah

March 13
Here is a Lenten Reflections. When God called Jonah to preach to Nineveh, the prophet refused and ran away. God then used a whale to take Jonah to the land he was supposed to call to repentance. The mission continued, but not without Jonah’s objections. When Jonah left Nineveh, he sat down under a small bush to get some rest. At the same time, a worm came and destroyed the bush’s root. The bush dried up and Jonah blamed God for that, as well as for all the other unfortunate circumstances in his life, screaming out loud in the desert, “Why did you send me? Why did you let a worm destroy the bush I was resting under? Why did you let the whale swallow me? Why me? Why preaching? Why Nineveh?”
Judging from my own perspective, the Almighty might have lost patience ten times already. I would not be so patient with students who argue with me about every single task they need to do, every assignment or grade I give, or the extra four minutes I keep them in class to finish my lecture. Yet, we read today that God patiently spoke to Jonah for the second time.
Let the word invite us today to reflect upon the grace of the second chance.  There is always time for a new beginning, starting afresh, picking ourselves up again.
Do you remember when you wanted something so much or had such a great idea? You had plans, invested your time and skills, and maybe even pulled strings to make it happen, but you got discouraged because of obstacles, uncooperative colleagues, or unsympathetic bosses. Your enthusiasm vanished over time. You lost confidence in your own strength and surrendered under the burden of all the difficulties.
Maybe you regret the lost opportunity or feel emptiness in your heart because your project did not work. Do not mourn anymore. Our God is the God of second chances. Today is yours!
Sister Mary Honorata Grzeszczuk, CSSF, Ph.D.,
Assistant Professor, Natural  Sciences/Mathematics Co-Chair, Institutional Review Board 


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