9th MARCH 2022

Fr. West's Catholic Blog: The Sign of Jonah and the Year of Faith - Homily  on Luke 11, 29-32



Jon 3: 1-10;                Ps 51: 3-4, 12-13, 18-19;                   Lk 11: 29-32



In today’s gospel, Jesus attempts to open the eyes of those who pretended to be blind to the wonders he performed among the people. He places before them the example of Prophet Jonah, who called the people of Nineveh to repentance, and the people listened to him and put on sackcloth as the sign of repentance. Jonah did not perform miracles in Nineveh; he just proclaimed God’s word. Yet, the Ninevites believed and changed their life. In the time of Jesus, people not only rejected the message of the precursor, John the Baptist, but refused to accept Jesus the Messiah as well.

Jesus was the light raised to a height, like the bronze serpent in the Old Testament. Whoever believed in him would have life eternal. He performed his miracles in public and not in the darkness. However, the people who rejected Jesus were in the darkness because of their own selfish motives. The light of Christ was always shining, yet they refused to come out of the darkness. No matter how bright the light, one who chooses to close his eyes will always be in the dark.

At the time of the American Civil War, a lady exclaimed to President Lincoln. “Oh Mr. President, I feel so sure that God is on our side, don’t you?” “Ma’am,” replied the President, “I am more concerned that we should be on God’s side.” Jesus, the light of the world, shines on everyone. It is our responsibility to choose to be on his side in the light, or in the darkness. In times of trial and difficulty, when we are tempted to forget the marvels that God has worked for us in the past, and begin to demand for signs and question his love for us, let us remember that God is always on our side. Let us have faith that he will not abandon us. It is only in moments of fear, of suffering and of trial, that the strength of our faith is tested. In those moments, we are called to prove whose side we are on.

Response: A broken and humbled heart, O God you will not spurn.

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