"Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the Lord." —Jonah 1:3
Jonah refused to obey God's call. Then the weather turned nasty. The Lord "hurled a violent wind upon the sea" (Jon 1:4). Jonah tried to weather the storm by going to sleep (Jon 1:5), but the weather got even nastier (Jon 1:11). The sailors on the boat with Jonah tried to escape the terrible weather, but "the sea grew ever more turbulent" (Jon 1:13). Only when they threw Jonah into the sea did the hurricane stop (Jon 1:15).
Many people have not obeyed God's calls. Some have refused to become priests or religious. Many have disobeyed God's call to have a large family. God has called us to Nineveh, the inner-city, the poor, the missions, the youth, and to many other arenas, but we have gone instead to Tarshish. We have done "our thing" and refused to answer God's calls.
As we have persevered in disobedience and selfishness, the moral, social, and spiritual weather has gotten worse (see Hos 8:7). We have responded to this as Jonah did. We have gone to sleep and tried to remain oblivious to our self-made hurricanes. When this hasn't worked, we've tried to change the climate without changing ourselves. Then the weather gets even worse.
Only when we jump off the boat of disobedience and repent will we have calm, safety, and peace. Repent before you kill yourself and a whole boatload of people.
Prayer: Father, may I quit hurting myself and others by doing my own thing.
Promise: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." —Lk 10:27
Praise: After fighting initial fear, Joanna accepted God's call and found life in abundance through youth ministry.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Hearing God, or on video V-45 or audio AV 45-1, or on our website CD #45-1.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 20, 2015
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