Daily homily for Wednesday of the 1st Week of Lent (1)










Daily homily for Wednesday of the 1st Week of Lent

Theme: THE SIGN OF JONAH…… “Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation”

By: Fr. Roger J. LANDRY
(Hyannis, Massachusetts, United States)

Homily for Wednesday March 9 2022

 

Today Jesus describes that the sign he will give to “evil people” is himself as the “sign of Jonah”: “Just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation”. (Lk 11:30). Just as Jonah allowed himself tossed overboard the boat to still the raging tempest and save the sailors’ lives, so Jesus allowed himself to be tossed overboard to calm the storms of sin that threatens our lives. Just as Jonah spent three days in the belly of the whale before being spit out on dry land, so Jesus would spend three days in the belly of the earth before walking out of the empty tomb (cf. Mt 12:40).

The sign that Jesus would give to the “evil people” of every generation is the sign of his death and resurrection. His death, freely accepted, is the sign of God’s incredible love for us: Jesus gave his life to save our own. His resurrection from the dead is the sign of his divine power. This is the most powerful and moving sign ever given.

But Jesus is the sign of Jonah in yet another sense. Jonah was an icon and agent of conversion. At his preaching, “Forty days more and Nineveh shall be overthrown” (Jon 3:4), the pagan Ninevites converted, as everyone from the king to children to animals covered themselves in sackcloth and ashes. During these forty days of Lent, we have someone “far greater than Jonah” (cf. Lk 11:32) preaching conversion to us —Jesus himself— and our conversion should be just as thorough.

St. John Chrysostom writes in the person of Christ: “For Jonah was a servant, but I am the Master; and he came forth from the great fish, but I rose from death. He proclaimed destruction, but I am come preaching the good tidings of the kingdom.”

A week ago, on Ash Wednesday, we covered ourselves in ashes and heard individually the words of Jesus’ first homily, “Repent and believe in the Gospel” (cf. Mk 1:15). The question for us is: Have we responded yet with deep conversion like the Ninevites and embraced that Gospel?

Fr. Roger J. LANDRY
(Hyannis, Massachusetts, United States)




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