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Wednesday, October 10, 2001

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Jonah 4:1-11
Psalm 86
Luke 11:1-4

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baptism or whale bellies

"The sun arose, God sent a burning east wind; and the sun beat upon Jonah's head till he became faint. Then he asked for death, saying, 'I would be better off dead than alive.' " —Jonah 4:8

Jonah was:

  • "greatly displeased" (Jon 4:1),
  • angry (Jon 4:1) that God "repented of the evil that He had threatened" (Jon 3:10),
  • "very happy" to be comfortable (Jon 4:6),
  • at least twice asking to die (Jon 4:3, 8), and
  • angry about losing his "air conditioner" (see Jon 4:9).

In summary, Jonah was unhappy most of the time, angry, out of touch with reality, happy on occasion, and depressed.

Jonah was extremely selfish. He was addicted to self — a self-aholic. Jonah was more interested in his air conditioning than in the salvation of 120,000 people. He was so arrogant that he thought he may have talked God into being like him. He left the city of Nineveh and waited at a distance "to see what would happen" (Jon 4:5). Jonah even thought he might be able to remake God in Jonah's own image and likeness.

As hard as it is to admit, we all are naturally like Jonah. The only way to be free from our self-destructive addiction to self is to be baptized into Jesus' death (Rm 6:3). Then our old nature is crucified (see Gal 5:24), and we rise to be like Jesus, not Jonah. Live your Baptism, or else you will live in the belly of a whale or worse.

Prayer:  Father, give me Jesus' life, love, heart, mind, and will.

Promise:  "Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins for we too forgive all who do us wrong; and subject us not to the trial." —Lk 11:3-4

Praise:  Roger was anti-Christian. His wife attended daily Mass. Roger gave his life to Jesus on Good Friday, to the joy of his wife, and now runs a Christian radio station.

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert A. Stricker, May 8, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 18, 2001